Whose Voice is Missing? ...in the decades of headlines about the cleanup of Lake Apopka from agricultural pesticides, runoff of agricultural nutrients, and other causes, we never heard the voices of the farmworkers who lost their jobs and homes in farmer-provided housing. Voices like those of Geraldean Matthew, who passed away September 3, 2016, after a lifetime of farmwork and social justice advocating in her community.
"Born in Belle Glade, Florida to a migrant farmworker mother...Eventually, her family settled in the agricultural town of Apopka, Florida, where she remembers working in the vegetable fields on what is Florida’s fourth largest lake....Geraldean remembered being sprayed directly by pesticides and bringing home empty pesticide containers for various uses around the house...
...In the last year of her life, as Geraldean was suffering the consequences of multiple chronic illnesses likely related to decades of direct and generational exposure to organochlorine pesticides..."
(from the article Apopka loses an iconic farmworker advocate in The Apopka Voice September 11, 2016.)