Living Downstream

carrot pullers from texas oklahoma missouri arkansas and mexico coachella valley 1 1024You may be familiar with Coachella from hearing about the annual music festival there. But for 10 years, journalist Ruxandra Guidi has been visiting farmworkers in the area, learning about the deplorable conditions in which they live.

There’s now some hope that community health workers are making a significant difference in the lives of workers. Here’s Ruxandra with the story – and stay tuned afterwards for a conversation with her detailing how she gains the trust of folks whose lives she’s documenting.
(In this historic photo by Dorothea Lange, migrant farmworkers pull carrots in the Coachella Valley. Credit: Library of Congress)

Ruxandra Guidi reported and produced this episode of Living Downstream, The Trailer Park Activists of Eastern Coachella Valley

Thanks to Anthony Garcia for mastering the show.

The Living Downstream theme music was written by David Schulman.

Steve Mencher is the host and senior producer. Darren LaShelle in the executive producer, and the president and CEO of Northern California Public Media is Nancy Dobbs.

Subscribe to Living Downstream wherever you get your podcasts. If you see environmental injustice in your community, write to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

LIVING DOWNSTREAM thanks our sponsors who make this podcast possible. A list is available at

smoking dump resizeActivist Eduardo Guevara takes a picture inside Lawson Dump as smoke rises from a fire smoldering belowground. Although it was ordered closed in 2006, underground fires continued to burn for years afterward, and residents of nearby mobile home parks continued to complain about noxious odors and possible contamination. (Credit: Roberto (Bear) Guerra, 2010)

stay out waste resizeA hand-written sign warns Duroville mobile home park residents in Thermal, California, to stay away from a waste pond on the neighboring property. On the far side of the pond is Lawson Dump, now closed by the EPA because it contained dangerous amounts of arsenic, PCBs, asbestos, dioxin and other toxic materials. (Credit: Roberto (Bear) Guerra, 2010)

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