By: Fredwill Hernandez
As a way to “pay homage” to his father [Don Pedro Rivera] who was formerly a field worker himself, to acknowledge, personally thank, and also “honor” the forgotten [frontline] field workers, Grammy Award winning Regional Mexican singer Lupillo Rivera, concluded his highly praised “Gira en el Campo” [Spanish for Tour of the Field] final tour date held on Fri. – Sept. 18, 2020, at Coit Ranch, Mendota, Ca., where his father once worked.
Approximately two miles from SOS Farms, in Medota, Ca., driving through a dirt road to the heart of Coit Ranch, on a honeydew melon field — tour producer Juan Rivera [of Linea Music] who coincidently happens to be Lupillo’s brother — among sponsors that included Adriana’s Insurance, Jarritos, Jenny Rivera Tequila, Camaronazo, El Super, Sigue Corp. [Envíos de Dinero] and Radio Lazer [103.1] among others, set up shop and for almost three hours non-stop — Juan [Rivera] who kicked things off by singing and dedicating the first song to his father Don Pedro Rivera — Lupillo, his niece Chiquis, and even Don Pedro [himself] took turns singing, entertaining, and “honoring” the field [farm] workers of [predominately] Coit Ranch in Mendota, Ca.
“I’m overjoyed, imagine coming back fifty-four years later. Coit – Ranch, here in Mendota, Ca. is where I first came to work [April 21, 1966] upon entering the United States, where I earned my first wages to live, and being able to come back is beautiful. Thank God for everything we [The Rivera’s] have been able to accomplish, imagine how I must feel today – “very happy,” eloquently expressed Don Pedro Rivera.
The private event and concert took place following CDC guidelines of social distancing, all field workers [and attendees] had their temperatures taken upon arrival and were asked to wear [facial] masks at all times with the exception of only when enjoying their food and drinks provided by the concert producers/sponsors. With social distance in mind, tables were strategically placed were the field workers could sit and enjoy the show which was streamed via Lupillo’s Facebook and Youtube “live” handles.
Throughout the concert and in between sets many gifts were handed out, as well as flat screen televisions, make-up kits, and $100 dollars “El Super” gift cards. Jarritos gave away two custom Heritage 50 scooters with their Jarritos logo which came with a helmet, and a free one-year insurance [also] courtesy of Adriana’s Insurance who were [also] responsible for all field workers in attendance receiving “new pairs of working boots” personally handed to them by Rosie and Juan Rivera. Among food attendees also got a chance to eat — were tacos courtesy of Tacos La Bonita.
As to how Gira en el Campo came to fruition, Rosie Rivera added, “My brother Juan would get these crazy ideas in a good way. Crazy like let’s set up a concert in a middle of a field and his brain just [conceptualized] created all of this, and because we know his heart we followed his brain. His heart was “to give back” to the people that are marginalized, it always has been. We don’t hear a lot about field workers, they are not glorified, they are not considered our heroes on TV so we decided we are going to do that for them. Juan has been putting in all the work, he organized everything – literally song per song, sponsor by sponsor, and thank all the sponsors who without them none of this would be possible. What’s Adriana’s Insurance, Sigue Corp. [Envíos de Dinero], every radio station and of course the talent. My dad deciding to come back to a place where he probably cried, where he probably sweat and was exhausted. And you leave places and think I don’t know if I want to go back there again, but my dad is so awesome and said I do. But I want to go back there with music and gifts and joy. I’m just so proud to be his daughter, I could cry. To think my dad worked so hard and still to this day. It’s gorgeous that at his age he is still working and has taught us to work. I’ve had the honor to be taught to work and I pray I can give that to my children. My father gave us a great legacy and he is still alive, he gave us that in his youth and at his age he is still teaching us lessons, so to come back here and to know we are still being blessed by these frontliners is just a joy and amazing. I feel like we can’t do enough, [therefore] I’ll chat and talk to them, I’ll dance, act a fool and just be silly — just to see them “smile” because I want them for a second to forget — that maybe their back hurts, that maybe their child doesn’t have a hot spot or WI-FI, or [that] maybe they don’t have a babysitter – some of them bring their children. I just want them to forget for a second and know that “they aren’t forgotten,” that first of all God loves them and will never forget them — but that God [also] puts that love in our hearts for him, and I hope that they have an amazing time.”