Zulema Gaspar, 4, and Jessica Dirzio Ramirez, 18, make Christmas wreaths for Mujeres Luchadores Progresistas' annual drive in Salem.

Based on smell alone, you’d be forgiven for thinking the office building in downtown Woodburn was a satellite workshop for Santa himself.

For five weeks each winter, the smell of pine – or, more technically, Nobel fir – fills each nook and cranny of PCUN’s office. Follow it to the back room, an auditorium where the farmworker union usually hosts meetings and seminars for its members, and you’ll find the cause: hundreds of Christmas wreaths, crafted, by hand, by women who spend the rest of the year working on farms.

It is a workshop, of sorts. The wreath project started in 1992 by a group of women who came to PCUN’s office at Christmastime looking for work.

The holiday season is slow for farmworkers and financially difficult. Harvest is over. For many, there’s no work to be found, which means no money to be made.



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