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Promised a job and a new life to take care of her young daughter, Maria decided to cross the border of Mexico and enter the US. When she changed her mind fearing repercussions, the traffickers held her daughter hostage, threatening not to return Jasmine due to the large debt incurred. Maria was transported to the Central Valley, California, and for the next several weeks, she worked long hours in the fields and was forced to leave her daughter daily in the care of her captors. They were told not to complain, and never to speak to anyone about their situation. When Maria overhead one of the traffickers discussing selling her to another individual, she feared she would be trapped for good. One day a few neighbors saw her attempting to flee and then taken into the house. They reported this incident to law enforcement, who in turn began an investigation. When questioned, Maria realized this could be her only chance for help and shared the truth. Her courage led to their safe rescue, relocation and connection to services through coordination with the Central Valley Against Human Trafficking Project. Maria and Jasmine are just two stories of individuals impacted by trafficking in our Central Valley. If you know someone who may impacted by Human Trafficking, please reach out for help!


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