From fields to flourishing community with growing opportunities and education

February 21, 2024 /

By: Stephanie Ramirez Becerra

As the city of McFarland has grown so has the population. Many Mexican immigrants moved to McFarland to work in the fields because they wanted better opportunities for their families. Today there are more diverse job opportunities and better education opportunities available for immigrant families who were born in the USA.

The population size of McFarland in 1987 started around 4,000 and now it has increased in 2023 to around 15,057. McFarland started becoming more known because of the McFarland USA movie that was based on a true story which was made on June 2, 2015. The city of McFarland has been expanding by adding more houses since there have been many more families coming to this town and families have been increasing and need a much bigger space to live.

In addition to adding more residences, more schools have been added because the generation has been growing a lot more and there have been many more little kids for them to start going to schools. 

Landscape architects have been adding more parks for kids to be able to play around in the park with parks that are not damaged and have more options to go to parks. The freeways have been a lot better along with other infrastructure. 

When asked if she believed there were better opportunities in McFarland and the reason behind her moving to the small town, McFarland High School Junior Monica Martinez stated: “Yes, because of the education and there are better work opportunities.”

Amador Ayon, a student development teacher at McFarland High School, was also asked for insight on how the town has changed since she was a youth. 

“McFarland has grown three times its size and the town is better. We got more opportunities now, more jobs, more businesses and I think it’s overall a little bit better than how it was back then,” Ayon said.

Ayon also commented that the other side of town is where more infrastructure is being built, but she hopes that one day the east side of town can start seeing more development as well.

“On the east side of the town, there is a newer park there so the goal is to put more business, more homes, and more opportunities on the east side as well,” stated Ayon.

The McFarland High School guidance counselor, Regina Cardoso, was also asked about how McFarland has changed over the years. 

“I have been here for 30 years and over the course of that time there have been more students graduating. Our graduation rate is around 98 to 99 percent so most of our students that are here at the High School they graduate,” Cardoso stated. “I do think they are very hardworking and most of our students stay on the college prep pathway I do feel like students are completing all their college prep courses they are very hardworking I think they get that from their parents, very hard-working parents in this community.”

Cardoso went on to explain that she grew up in Strathmore, a town very much like McFarland with lots of hard-working, farming communities. She also talked about the growth she’s seen at the school, revealing that when she first started working at MHS, there were around 300 students and that there are now around 980.

“We just built our big new community center and our big gym three stories can seat 3,000 people so we are projecting the school to continue to grow they just put in new apartments and I think it’s just gonna keep on growing,” Cardoso said. “As soon as we reach like 1100 we get one more counselor at the High School then we start adding teachers for all the new enrolment as soon as we have students we can have more teachers so yeah we are going to grow.”