Grade Level: 5-6
Student: Natalie Castaneda & Jessica Bustos
Teacher: Johnathan A. Chakerian
Chapter: Kings Canyon EA
Our picture is about how Cesar E. Chavez, who was a man that led and helped farm workers get better working conditions, helped make laws that would give them rights, and helped them have healthier working conditions. Cesar’s full name was Cesar Estrada Chavez and he was named after his grandfather.
Before Cesar Chavez, the farm workers were treated unfairly and they could easily be fired for no reason. The workers did not have a bathroom or water provided by the bosses of the field workers. The hours the farm workers worked were sometimes long and they did not receive overtime pay.
His interest in helping farm workers was because of his own personal experiences. Cesar’s family worked in the fields when he was young and Cesar also worked in the fields since the age of thirteen to help support his family. Cesar became a labor leader and co-founded the United Farm Workers along with Dolores Huerta.
The UFW fought for higher wages for grape pickers. The United Farm Workers led a strike that started in 1966 and lasted for five years. Robert Kennedy supported Cesar Chavez and shortly after a Senate subcommittee investigation, strikers won a major labor victory. His interest in helping the farm workers was more important to him than even his own health. As a labor leader Chavez led many marches and organized boycotts and went on several hunger strikes that is said to have been the cause of his death.
Cesar Chavez led his protest in a peaceful way and was awarded the Pacemin Terris (Peace on Earth) Award in 1992 by Pope John Paul II. The National Holiday Coalition wants to make March 31 (Cesar Chavez birthday) as a national holiday. If this was to happen it would be a paid holiday where it would also be a day of learning in the public schools.
The way that Cesar Chavez has affected my life is that my grandfather and many others of my relatives have worked in the fields for many years. They are able to get unemployment income when the field work is over. This has helped them live better and happier lives and I am thankful for Cesar Chavez.