In the Yakima Valley, thousands of temporary migrants arrive each summer for the cherry and apple harvest.

Workers go to the fields at 4 a.m. daily.

Most stay at migrant camps, often with their families. Sixteen camps are spread across the 37,000-square-mile diocese.

Sister Isabel Doñate Valdez and two other sisters, members of the first cohort of Catholic Extension’s Latin-American Sisters Exchange Program, brought the Church to workers in the fields.

Partnering with seminarians, they helped to organize regular Masses for the migrants and their families at the camps.

They created a literacy wagon to teach children to read. “We are empowering these immigrants to lead healthier, faith filled and more productive lives,” she said.

“We keep these children learning despite their difficult travel schedules and let them know they are important to the parish,” said Sister Isabel, who is working the literacy wagon in Yakima.

“We remind immigrants that they belong to the Church,” said Sister Isabel, “We listen.”


You can help strengthen the Catholic Church in the poorest areas of the United States with a donation to the U.S.-Latin American Sisters Exchange Program. With the support of donors like you, Catholic Extension helps empower Catholic leaders to make a difference in their communities. 

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