Remembering Cesar Chavez

Scarlett Tran

Manny Rios

Garvey Intermediate will honor National Farm Workers Association founder Cesar Chavez on March 28. After spending two years in the U.S. Navy in 1946, Chavez moved to San Jose, California and served as a civil rights activist and labor organizer. In 1965 he organized a successful grape strike in Delano using nonviolent tactics like boycotts, picketing, and hunger strikes. In 1994 Chavez was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bill Clinton. Chavez died in 1993 at the age of 66.

In 2017 Chavez’s son, Fernando Chavez, visited El Monte High School to share his father’s legacy and encourage the high school students to exercise their right to vote. For Fernando Chavez voting is “one of the most important and treasured things that you’re going to get in life” reports Hayley Munguia of the Long Beach Telegram.

Chavez was born in Yuma, Arizona and his family suffered from the hard times of the Great Depression. His family was forced to move from one farm to another to earn money. Chavez attended over 30 different elementary and middle schools reports the California Museum. After eighth-grade, he dropped out of school to help his family working full-time in the fields. His motto in life was “si se puede” (it can be done). Cesar Chavez Day is officially honored on March 31.

Fernando Chavez (son of Cesar Chavez) speaks to El Monte High School students in 2017 (provided by the Pasadena Star News) (Walt Mancini)