Hero’s name: Daniel Naranjo
Home city: Fellsmere, Florida
Organization affiliation: Farmworker Association of Florida
How does the person’s work advance social justice? What is the person’s vision for an equitable world?
“Daniel Naranjo was born in Mexicali, Baja California. At age 2, his family moved to Michoacán. He studied until the 6th grade, while working in the fields. His father had to come to the U.S. to support the family. In 1981, at the age of 15, due to family needs, he went to work in California with his four brothers.
Upon the arrival to the U.S., Naranjo worked as a dishwasher, busboy and a person who cleaned a ranch. He also worked for a company making nails for three years. In 1987, he worked-out his migratory statues becoming a legal resident.
In 1989, he returned to Michoacán. Then months later, he returned to Florida to work in the citrus industry. In 1990, he went to Michigan to harvest cherries and strawberries. After the season ended, he returned to Virginia to harvest grapes and peaches. He also found working making stone fences.
He returned to Michoacán for two months. In 1991, he returned to Fellsmere and worked harvesting citrus. Work took him to Virginia where he harvested grapes and peaches. In November 1992, he returned to Mexico, marrying Virginia Naranjo.
They returned to Fellsmere to harvest citrus. They then moved to the town of Labelle, where he worked in the fields, applying chemicals. Their first son, Daniel Jr, was born after that.
At the same time, they met a man who gave them information that Daniel fulfilled the requirement to become a citizen. In 1994 they returned to Fellsmere, where Daniel became the crew leader of 10 people.
In 1995, he received his license to transport fruit. The salary was bad. Again, he became a crew leader. In 1997, they had their first daughter, Vanessa. From 1998 to 2000, he returned to transporting fruit. From 2000 to 2010, he worked for three different plumbing companies. In 2005 the area coordinator invited him to be a member of the directive board of the Farmworker Association of Florida.
Throughout his continued membership as a member of FWAF, he took positions as a member of the executive committee and financial adviser.
From 2008 to 2012, he was a council member during two terms, listening to the needs of the community making changes and making the voice of immigrants heard as a City Council member. To this day, he continues work as a plumber.
His belief is that, as one person there is no noticeable change, but as a group, the changes are noticeable. As he observes: ‘That’s why I’m still fighting!'”
Honored by: Maria E. Martinez
Note: This profile is part of Equal Voice News’ special Cesar Chavez Day Community Heroes edition. These submissions were edited for clarity.