A week-long Guardian series offering a unique portrait of modern China - its politics, economy, society, environment and international relations - through the eyes of migrant workers, business people, bloggers and officials. We follow them from the factories of Shenzhen to the deserts of Gansu, and explore their views on everything from modern marriage to patriotic pride. We learn about their hopes and fears.
A few years ago I met a woman named Eva who had traveled from Mexico to the Eastern Shore of Maryland to work at a crab-processing plant on an H-2B visa. To cover the passport and visa fees, travel costs and other expenses that would pile up during her journey, Eva had taken out a loan of approximately $1,000 at 10 percent interest.
February 1939. "Packinghouse workers in migrant labor camp near Canal Point, Florida. Some of them are from Missouri and Arkansas. No water, no light, no sanitary facilities." Photo by Marion Post Wolcott.