Rosendo was referred to CalAgrAbility from a collaborator at EDD. His right arm was amputated after an accident on his way to work in 2001. Before the accident, he worked picking, farm labor that is paid by the amount harvested. Rosendo knew that he wouldn’t be able to pick at the same rate. He managed to continue working full time in agriculture seasonally, hoeing weeds on tomato, onion and watermelon fields in Northern California. To compensate for his disability, Rosendo had ingeniously been putting the top of the hoe under his right armpit for stability and maneuvering the hoe with his left hand.
When CalAgrAbility met him in 2013, he was researching prosthetics and found estimates around $20,000. This was very discouraging, his family could not afford it. CalAgrAbility staff later came across Pacific Medical Inc. Prosthetics and Orthotics at an AT Expo event. CalAgrAbility connected Rosendo with them and they provided pro bono work to help Rosendo get a prosthesis made for him. The prosthesis helps him pick watermelons without having to resort to his foot for support. He can also hold a knife safely when harvesting onions. Back pain was reduced in both of these situations. Rosendo is now working as a foreman and is very conscious and active in applying and enforcing safety in his crew. Furthermore, he has started his own farm, La Autentica Semilla. In 2015, CalAgrAbility facilitated his attendance to the Latino Farmer Conference in Fresno. Rosendo and his wife attended the conference, learning about more resources to help them continue to thrive in agriculture.