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Grade Level: 7-8
Region: 2
Student: Luis Monje
Teacher: Roxi Romo
Chapter: Bakersfield Elementary TA

Luis

César Chávez spent his life working for the Mexican American farm workers by improving their working conditions and environment. He started working at a very young age, and by sixteen he had to work 12 hours a day. He was disappointed by the pay, and couldn’t provide food for his family. Although he worked difficult jobs and long hours, he was still very poor and uneducated. César Chávez didn’t like that farm owners abused their workers with long hours, cruel conditions, and little pay. Since he was so frustrated for himself and other migrant workers, he decided to join the Community Service Organization (CSO). He spent many hours registering people to vote, in hopes that the CSO could improve the working conditions for migrant farm workers. After working for the CSO for two and a half years, they continually rejected his idea of organizing the migrant farm workers, so he quit and moved to Delano, California with his wife and kids to start his own organization. Eventually, he founded the National Farm Workers Association (NFWA). After much effort, Chávez was able to inspire many people to march 250 miles from Delano all the way to Sacramento, California. Marchers held a banner of the Lady of Guadalupe which helped unite poor, uneducated Mexicans together. This 1966 protest helped people realize that the organization was strong. Another brave effort made by Chávez was to fast. He decided to fast during the grape boycott to show his commitment to non-violence. Throughout his life, Chávez helped farm workers improve their working conditions, and people like my abuelito who work in the fields benefited from his thoughts and hard work. Sadly, Chávez died of an illness on the 23rd of April, 1993.

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