The Ongoing Misery of Sheepherders in the Rockies

February 23 2009, 9:47 AM

Lorenzo Cortez Vargas, a sheepherder from Chile, wanders lonesome stretches of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, earning $750 a month for round-the-clock work with no days off, living in a crude 5-foot-by-10-foot camper with no water, toilet, or electricity. No Americans want these "harsh, solitary" jobs that are part of a federal temporary worker program, writes The New York Times, noting, however, that advocates for immigrants want better treatment for the "borregueros" of Colorado and Wyoming, who herd along rugged terrain that makes the sheepherders' plight "particularly unforgiving." For years--even before 2001, according to this archived Westword article--sheepherders have complained of ill treatment in the West.

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