Marielena is a proud daughter of Mexican immigrants from Huacao, Michoacán, Mexico. She was born and raised in Idaho along with four younger sisters. She grew up in the fields and orchards. Her parents didn’t have options for her care and they were forced to take her with them to work. Her parents would put her in empty apple boxes with a blanket, snacks and toys to play with while they picked apples. Growing up all her parent’s co-workers became her friends and second family. Marielena laughed, shared sorrows, worries, and joy with all of them. She learned the most important life lessons from her time in the fields. She grew to be more aware of the problems in the world especially those of the agriculture industry and lack of protections for farmworkers. Since then, Marielena has made a personal commitment to speak with others different and similar to herself, and to take action for the things that affect the land, food, water, and communities we live in and are part of.