Carmen Castellanos peeling an onion in the kitchen at Antojitos Carmen in Columbus Junction, Iowa. She is proud of her roots in Michoacan, Mexico, famous for the annual migration of the monarch butterfly, which she has tattooed on her arm. Crédito: Courtesy of Real America with Jorge Ramos.
Carmen and Salvador on the day of their marriage 42 years ago, on February 18, 1978. "He is my other half. He's been my co-worker all my life, always together wherever we go. Because he has always supported me in what I like to do: cooking," says Carmen. Crédito: Courtesy of the family.
Salvador Ortega, 62, spent nearly seven weeks in hospital battling covid-19, as the virus attacked three generations of his family in the small town of Columbus Junction, whose main source of income comes from the meat-processing industry. Crédito: Courtesy of the Ortega-Castellanos family.
Maria Gomez, 34, was brought to Iowa from Guanajuato, Mexico, as a child and was abadnoned by her father. She is a now a member of the Columbus district school board and her husband is a former meat packing worker who still needs physical therapy for the years he spent working in the Tyson plant. In the photo with her two daughters. Crédito: Courtesy of Maria Gomez.
The Tyson plant in Columbus Junction was closed for two weeks. On April 28, President Donald Trump issued an executive order deeming meatpacking facilities "critical infrastructure,” to ensure the nation’s meat supply, requirin g them to stay open. After production resumed at the Columbus Junction plant on April 21 it has since returned full capacity. Workers say condirtons have improved and the number of covid-19 cases has dropped significantly. In photo, new safety measures at the Columbus Junction plant, include protective barriers between work stations. Crédito: Tyson Foods.