I was power-walking through the streets of the exclusive suburb of L.A., stopping every now and then to admire the mission architecture of the enormous gated mansions, when I noticed a security car slowly driving behind me. I knew the guard was suspicious, because the only brown-skinned women who come into that neighborhood don't walk the streets unless they're pushing someone else's baby in a designer stroller.
Nearly 100,000 domestic workers live in L.A., leaving their families behind in Central America and Mexico. Did anyone catch the broadcast premiere of Maid in America by Panamanian-born Anayansi Prado on the Emmy-award winning PBS series, Independent Lens last night (Tuesday, November 29th)? According to Prado, the lives of las domésticas are no J Lo fairy tale:
Most have no health insurance, no driver license, no pension and no recourse when it comes to employment injustices. They cook meals they could never afford, clean houses they could only dream of owning and care for strangers’ children when their own children are thousands of miles away. Deportation is a constant fear. And still they come to the United States by the thousands in hopes of a better life for themselves and their families.