On February 13, 2013, GNL Masters Class XVII and one member of Masters Class XVI spent the day touring and learning about the eastern Collier County town of Immokalee. The morning was spent at the Guadalupe Center, a state of the art child development center. There the Class heard speakers discuss the history of Immokalee, large and small scale farming in the community, ranching, and non-profit and public education. Highlights of the morning were talks by four Immokalee High School students and their guidance counselors. Three of the students are migrant children. Their life stories were compelling and up-lifting. To provide additional time to learn about these students’ lives, the students were invited to eat lunch with the Class.
Following lunch the Class took a bus tour of Immokalee led by Rick Heers, a longtime resident of the town. The class saw the Farmworkers’ Village, Horizon Village, the Pin-Hookers’ Market, the all new Farmers Market built with FEMA funds following Hurricane Wilma, Habitat Housing, and some of the less impressive housing for farm workers run privately.
After the tour the Class spent the afternoon at Immokalee Technical School (i Tech) learning about housing, both non-profit and county run; health care; and development/redevelopment in Immokalee.
The Immokalee Session Day Team thanks all the wonderful speakers who gave of their time to introduce Immokalee to the Class; and we particularly thank the Guadalupe Center and i Tech for the use of their facilities. All in all a “Supreme Day” by a team from the “Supreme Masters Class XVI.”