Health and Health Care Among Latino Im/migrant Farmworkers and Their Families

Investigators: Melanie A. Medeiros and Jennifer Guzmán

Project Summary  

Structural obstacles to health care access and utilization for Latino im/migrant farmworkers, including lack of transportation, cost of health care, limits of insurance, and availability of interpretation services, perpetuate health disparities. This study will investigate the ways im/migrant farmworkers craft strategies and marshal social resources to overcome obstacles to health care utilization, as well as the structural and policy-related limitations that impact their ability to build or access the social resources needed to successfully access medical care in Western and Central New York.

The overall objective of the proposed research is to investigate the structural obstacles to health care utilization for im/migrant Latino farmworkers and their families, explore the ways personal social capital does and does not mitigate these challenges in the current social and political-economic climate in New York, and examine the factors and life experiences that influence personal social capital and health care utilization.

The objectives of the study are:

(1) to investigate, using life history and semi-structured interviews, farmworkers, farmworker spouses, and service-providers’ perspectives on and experiences with obstacles to health care utilization, with a focus on structural barriers related to federal and state policies;

(2) to explore, using life history interviews, the strategies and social resources im/migrant farmworkers and farmworker spouses employ to mitigate structural obstacles to health care utilization, the limitations of their personal social capital, and emerging challenges to farmworkers and farmworker spouses’ personal social capital and ability to engage social resources;

(3) to examine, using structured surveys and life history interviews, the factors and life experiences that influence farmworker’ and farmworker spouses’ health care utilization and personal social capital, and to investigate whether there is a correlation between personal social capital, including bonding, bridging and linking social capital, and health care utilization. 

For more information or to participate as a research assistant on this project, email Dr. Medeiros ( or Dr. Guzmán (