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selected works

Encalada, E. and Clarke, M. (2016) “Evelyn Encalada Grez in Conversation with Marlea Clarke.” Migration, Mobility, & Displacement 2.2: 76-89.

Preibisch, K., and Encalada Grez, E.  (2013) “Between Hearts and Pockets: Locating the Outcomes of Transnational Homemaking Practices among Mexican Women in Canada’s Temporary Migration Programs” Citizenship Studies, 17.6-7, pp. 785-802.

Encalada Grez E. (2011) “Policy Brief:  Vulnerabilities of Female Migrant Farm Workers from Latin America and the Caribbean in Canada” FOCAL: The Canadian Foundation for the Americas, Policy Brief, pp 1-6.
Preibisch, K., and Encalada Grez (2011) “Re-examining the Social Relations of the Canadian ‘Family Farm’: Migrant Women Farm Workers in Rural Canada,” in Pini, Barbara and Leach, Belinda (eds.) Reshaping Gender and Class in Rural Spaces, Ashgate: Farnham pp 91-112.

Course: “HREQ 3485-Migrant Workers and Human Rights,” Department of Human Rights and Equity Studies, York University, Fall 2010 and 2011. Specialized handouts:  Map of Inter/national Legislations Specific to Migrant Workers in Canada (link); Rural Mexican Families and Circular Migration to Canada through the SAWP (link); Another Look at Temporary Foreign Worker Programs in Canada (link)

Encalada Grez E., Organizing from the Maquiladoras to the University: Dialogue and reflections among women migrant and maquiladora workers in Mexico Just Labour: A Canadian Journal of Work and Society, Volume 16, Spring 2010 pp. 76-83.

Preibisch, Kerry and Encalada, Evelyn. "The Other Side of el Otro Lado: Mexican Migrant Women and Labor Flexibility in Canadian Agriculture" Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 2010, vol. 35.2 pp. 289-316


Global restructuring is dramatically reshaping how women and men around the world relate to agriculture. While gender analysis has been central to research on labor‐intensive, corporate agriculture in the global South, it is rarely invoked in the literature exploring these trends in the North. Moreover, research on gender in agriculture in high‐income countries has tended to focus on women in family farms, despite extensive restructuring of the sector that has increased demands for waged laborers. This article speaks to these limitations by tracing the incorporation of Mexican women into the Canadian agricultural sector as temporary migrant workers. In exploring the lived realities of these women, it reveals workplaces characterized by highly gendered, racialized employment relations and illustrates how temporary migrant worker programs further entrench existing structures of labor segmentation in agriculture. While temporary migrant worker programs have brought greater flexibility into the Canadian agricultural labor market by enabling a particular set of employment practices that rest on gendered, racialized subjectivities, these processes are by no means uncontested by the actors they seek to command.

Rural Women Making Change in Puebla: Sexual Exploitation and Harassment from the Countryside to the Maquilas by EVEG for RWMC, May 2009

Sexual harassment is all too familiar for migrant farm women in Ontario. In a RWMC workshop in Leamington last summer, Eulalia, a Mexican agricultural worker in the Temporary Low Skilled Workers Program explained “…we will continue to be living those kinds of things with the employer, who is not focused on the work, in the work we produce, but instead if you have a good ass, if you have a pretty face or whatever you can offer him of your body so that he can be happy and that is not right.” Link to full text in html and photos
Rural Women Making Changes Goes to Michoacán: Mapping the Transrural from Mexico to Canada, April 13, 2009

In my research and community work with Mexican migrant workers I constantly see how the US-Mexico border that separates the “First World” from the “Third World” is stretching into Canada. Now Canada is exploiting Mexico as a source of cheap labour much like the United States has for decades. What I see the most is how the integration between Canada in Mexico is pronouncing itself quite forcefully through transrural spaces and networks among families and communities that depend on rural Ontario for remittances and who organize for the yearly migration of their loved ones to Canada.
  Link to full text in html

Encalada Grez E., Submitted to the Editor of the Brampton Guardian, (unpublished) May 23, 2009

It takes a lot of courage to stand up for your rights as a migrant worker in this country. Thousands of workers across Canada are currently participating in several "guest worker schemes" run by the federal government including the Low Skilled Temporary Workers Program, the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program and the Live in Care Giver Program. Migrant workers who are employed through temporary work visas do not have the same labour protections or human rights as permanent residents. When faced with contract violations and maltreatment many workers are forced to silence themselves or they risk loosing their jobs which in the majority of cases results in their immediate deportation. Employers are not held accountable and instead migrant workers are further penalized. As such these programs promote human rights violations and indentured labour.

Caregivers Magdalene Gordo, Richelyn Tongson and Lyda Alvarez who worked for Ruby Dhalla and her family risked it all to stand up to their former employer. In this way they also stood up to the government of Canada which has created these guest worker programs. Irrespective of the political bantering between the Liberals and the Conservatives both political parties are responsible for the creation and expansion of these guest worker programs.

Magdalene Gordo, Richelyn Tongson and Lyda Alvarez bravely took a stance to denounce the humiliation and labour rights abuse they experienced working for Dhalla’s family. They did so without relying on the power, status and financial means available to their former employer as an MP to hire public relations and legal experts who can spin and detract from the issues. Ruby Dhalla is a daughter of an immigrant family that is now using her power and privilege to stomp on the rights of migrant women through these guest-worker programs instead of fighting for immigrant rights in this country. And tragically Dhalla is still an MP and is getting away with it all. For me this begs the question, is anyone listening?

Evelyn Encalada Grez, Brampton

Encalada Grez E., Coming back from Mexico: Letter to the Editor: Through the Swine Influenza Mexican Migrant Farm Workers Become Visible as a Public Threat

April 29, 2009

The flight from Mexico City Sunday night was full of Canadian snowbirds returning from their yearly migration to tourist hotspots throughout Mexico. Then there was me, who has made a life for herself in Mexico following back Mexican migrant farm workers in the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program from Michoacán to Veracruz. Last week I visited several workers in their communities who are still awaiting and preparing for their work in Canada. They have no idea how they will be treated when returning to a country where they already feel marginal and invisible. The workers who are already here are concerned about their loved ones back in Mexico as the news about the influenza changes everyday.

Tragically through the swine influenza Mexican migrant farm workers have become visible as a health risk and many Canadians are opposed to their return. The majority of migrant workers undergo intensive medical examinations each year to determine their capability to continue working in Canadian fields, greenhouses and packaging plants. Through my community and academic work over the years I have seen how migrant workers’ health, safety and human rights are constantly violated by their work in Canada, with many being deported once they are injured at work. Some also lose their lives here while their families back in Mexico are left without any type of compensation. But for these injustices there is only silence and indifference on the part of the "Canadian public."

Safety precautions should be taken with everyone entering Canada from Mexico until more is known about this flu. Mexicans, and Guatemalan migrant workers for that matter, should not be differentially treated by Canadian authorities. But at the moment public hysteria is holding Mexico and its peoples captive to racist and demeaning sentiments by Canada and the rest of the world. We will be working closely with Mexican migrant farm workers to monitor the backlash they may feel in their host communities across rural Ontario and when entering the country. In the meantime I urge the public to be clear headed and remember the lessons from SARS when all of Chinatown became a racialized quarantine zone along with East-Asian peoples. Can we do better than that and instead stand in support with Mexican workers and their families? Let us not forget how interdependent we are as a continent.

Published by TheStar.com Stand up for farm workers
by EVEG (based on the above piece) May 2, 2009.

OPINION:Correo Canadiense Trabajadores agrícolas mexicanos considerados peligro público por la gripe porcina by EVEG, April 30, 2009.
Toronto Star: Seasonal workers raise swine flu fears on farms
April 29, 2009 by Lesley Ciarula Taylor
(with quotes by Dr. Jenna Hennerbry and EVEG)
About my presentation at the UN with Rural Women Making Change and about my community work with migrant workers overall:

YFile: Alumna speaks to UN about the plight of migrant workers in Ontario
October 28, Toronto Star, Migrant workers reap bitter harvest in Ontario
October 16th, Correo Canadiense, En la ONU exponen abusos a las trabajadoras agrícolas
October 14th, Toronto Star, Arid harvests for migrant women

Rural Women Making Change: Migrant Farm Worker Women Fact Sheet (English and Spanish)

Encalada Grez E., Paz, A., and Fuchs, E., “Migrant Workers Under Harper: Guests, Servants and Criminals”, in Healy, T., (ed), “The Harper Record”, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, 2008, pp 197-203.
Encalada Grez, E., Speech in Spanish-Discurso del Evento "Va para Justicia" -This one is for Justicia" Event, Casa Maiz, Toronto, Saturday August 30, 2008.
Encalada Grez E., "Home in the Distance", Diagolos, "CHILEAN JOURNEYS", Issue #5: Winter 2008
Encalada Grez E., Rural Women Making Change-Profile and Personal Bio: Forced Migration and Belonging: Growing Up in Two Worlds Spring 2007
+Encalada Grez E., in collaboration, Gender, Migration and Work Teaching Module, Winter 2007
Encalada Grez, E., Report Back from the First Latin American Community Migrant Summit
Perspectives From El Otro del Otro Lado-Canada
, June 26, 2007
Encalada Grez E., Justice for Migrant Farm Workers: Reflections on the Importance of Community Organising, August 2006

Encalada Grez E., Pinochet Dies, Reflections of a Displaced Chilean, Sunday December 10th, 2006