César E. Chávez
César Chávez nació el 31 de marzo de 1927 en Yuma, Arizona en una familia mexicoestadounidense con seis hijos. (Foto: Archivo)

Cesar Chavez was the co-founder of the United Farm Workers union alongside Dolores Huerta and many others who participated in the original strike and subsequent grape and lettuce boycotts.

Cesar was a lifelong learner, constantly reading and seeking knowledge that could benefit the union’s growth, service to workers, and promotion of peace and non-violence.

He recognized the needs of Latinos in both rural and urban areas and believed in empowering them to challenge themselves and believe in their ability to create change.

Many know of Cesar’s veganism and his deep respect for all life, which led him to abstain from meat.

Born on March 31, 1927, Cesar Chavez passed away in 1993 at the relatively young age of 66. However, in his lifetime, he planted many seeds of hope and inspired dreams of a better world, which many embraced.

Cesar’s son, Paul Chavez, and now his grandson, Andres, continue to champion Cesar’s legacy.

Having witnessed the harsh realities of life in labor camps, Cesar knew farmworkers deserved better housing. He believed in restoring dignity to farmworkers, not just in rural areas but also in growing urban communities.

The Chavez Foundation has addressed this need by building 6,000 low-income housing units across Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas. These projects incorporate Sí Se Puede centers for youth, offering academic support and expanded learning opportunities.

The Foundation understands the importance of role models. By presenting youth with positive examples from their own communities, they believe they can better guide them toward a brighter future. Additionally, the senior housing units ensure residents receive necessary medications and compassionate care, especially during challenging times like the pandemic.

When mainstream media neglected to cover the struggles of farmworkers, Cesar created Radio Campesina. Today, it boasts 14 stations across nine markets in California, Arizona, and Las Vegas, Nevada. Similarly, the Chavez Foundation uses Forge to engage with young people directly.

These stations not only play uplifting music but also promote inspiring stories of «Sí Se Puede» – individuals who achieved success despite significant obstacles. Recognizing the evolving digital landscape and the growing Latino urban population, the Chavez Foundation’s communication arm has rapidly adapted. As of today, it boasts over 5 million followers.

We must not forget that the UFW continues to fight for worker rights and consumer protection from harmful pesticides and herbicides.

A lesser-known fact is that Cesar served two years in the Navy, even having a ship named in his honor. It’s important to remember that racism and discrimination were everyday realities for service members of color during that era.

In recognition of his unwavering commitment to nonviolent activism and his advocacy for working people, Cesar was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1994. His wife, Helen, accepted the award on his behalf.

Some say that if Cesar were alive today, he would be a captivating force using the power of podcasts to address critical issues.

Cesar understood the power of unity. He believed that farmworkers, urban dwellers, and people of all ethnicities could create positive change by working together, exercising their right to vote, and actively defending everyone’s human rights.


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