Immokalee's Fields of Hope
Immokalee's Fields of Hope is a story of Mexican, Haitian, and Guatemalan immigrants told by a businesswoman who regained her soul through volunteering with children. With compassion and understanding, Carlene Thissen shares the personal stories the immigrants told her, framed with the political and social histories of their countries.
Beginning with family memories of her own German and Irish grandparents, she captures the struggles, hopes, and dreams of people who just want to work and make a better life. Carlene offers the opportunity to stretch out and truly visualize the plights of the people being described and their motivation for coming to America. They left horrible poverty, violence, and persecution and risked everything they had to come to Immokalee in Southwest Florida as word spread across our borders that, "There is work in Immokalee."
More than just the vivid story of the immigrants, Carlene explains the frustrations and fears of the rural community that struggled to absorb them and the dedicated people who came to help. The immigrants' dreams of a better life and the Carlene's own journey back to the garden all began in Immokalee's Fields of Hope.
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Ny Father, Joe Brett Senior, spent over 10 years or more like 15 years building the soup kitchen and I believe the Friendship House. I recall times when Sister Judy would call Dad at night asking him to address a problem and never did my Dad hesitate to help her out. I appreciate the fact his name is in this book but the amount of time he spent at home and on the job site sometimes reached over 50 hours in one week and this was all done after he retired from building homes in Naples Park.