In the eastern Idaho town of Shelley, Francesca Berggren sorts potatoes at GPOD of Idaho. She loves to work hard, worship the Lord and likes to help people.
Her life working in produce includes traveling from Texas—where she started working in the produce industry—and then traveling to Idaho, eventually ending up in Blackfoot, Idaho.
Berggren tells those coming to America for work that “you need to be grateful to work here in the U.S. It is a great country, but you have to learn to live here the right way and not abuse it. Just living here doesn’t give you the right to get everything free.”
Her message for those born here: “You are fortunate to be born American citizens and you should feel proud.”
Possessing a big, loving heart, Francisca views her future in America with happiness. “As long as I’m able, I want to be a blessing to my family and everyone around me.”
She continues, “I will say that America is a great country to live in, but we need to keep it clean of everything that can damage it. We need to be honest, respect the law and work hard. Be legal on everything we do and we will have a good life for our children and grandchildren.”
The biggest challenge she faced when she came to America in 1949 was the language. Born and reared in Reynosa, Tomaulipos, Mexico, Francesca was 9 years old when she was taken in with her older sister in Mission, Texas.
During that time a lot of Mexican citizens crossed over the border to work in the vegetable industry. They came over with day passes and then went home after full days of work. One day Francesca didn’t go home with her mother. She stayed with her sister and began working in a fresh vegetable packing shed.
Through her lifetime she married, had eight children and now resides in Blackfoot, Idaho.
Francesca loves going to church and worshiping. She works hard and enjoys helping other people. When asked how and where, she says in every way.