José L. Pérez
Day Labor Organizer
Jose is from Nicaragua where at age 15 he became the coordinator of the youth organizing committee of his neighborhood. At 18, he was responsible for a joint project between his neighborhood and the police department, leading a prevention program on youth gangs.
Jose attended at Law School at the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua (UNAN-León.) There, Jose was part of the student leadership to change the university bylaws granting rights to college students to improve university education. Jose also organized marches demanding 6% of tax revenues that governments should give universities and which was at risk due to government leadership changes and international policies promoting the privatization of education.
In 2007 Jose started working in the construction industry. He had an accident at work which left him severe injured. In addition he was the victim of wage theft. Jose was skeptical when he arrived for support to the Fe y Justicia Worker Center. He became a member, then a volunteer, and later the organizer of the Day Labor program. His motivation has been and will always be to fight for people’s wellbeing and to build a fair society with equal opportunities.
The proverbs that have inspired Jose social justice activist are: “If we don’t defend our rights we will lose them”, and “education is the most powerful weapon to eradicate poverty.”