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from migrant worker to med-school hopeful, anabel rodriguez is using her camp experience at st. edward’s to create a better life for herself and her family. By Erin Peterson

F

or many kids, summer is three freewheeling months of swimming pools, parks and playtime. But for kids of migrant families, it’s a far more grueling season. When Anabel Rodriguez ’14 was growing up, April was the start of the grape harvest. As the mercury climbed in her hometown of Rio Grande City in southern Texas, Rodriguez’s mom, dad and three older siblings piled into the family’s Astro Van and drove west until they arrived at the grapevine fields near Bakersfield, Calif. Once there, the six of them settled into a small, two-bedroom house in a migrant camp and prepared for the long, hot summer. Each day started at 4 a.m., when Rodriguez’s mom, Maria, made breakfast: flour tortillas filled with eggs and ham, or perhaps potatoes and chorizo. They packed their leftovers for lunch then headed to the fields, where they spent close to 60 hours a week picking and packaging grapes under the sweltering sun. Their only day off was Sunday — or when the temperature topped 110 degrees.

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St. Edward’s University Magazine Winter 2012  

In this issue of St. Edward’s University Magazine: Students photograph Texas high-school football for the Bob Bullock Texas State History Mu...

St. Edward’s University Magazine Winter 2012  

In this issue of St. Edward’s University Magazine: Students photograph Texas high-school football for the Bob Bullock Texas State History Mu...