Cesar Chavez

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"Health & Family Specialist for Migrant Education Program"

Health & Family Specialist for Migrant Education Program

I am a decendant of a farm laborer, my father came to the United States when he was between 14 and 16 years of age as a brazero. He did two terms under the brazero program 1943-46. He would tell me the stories of what he had to endure because brazeros were put in the most horrible places and work sites to do what no other person would do the same as today. First he was in Barstow California, working in the railroad in 100-110 degree in the middle of the day with only periodical times for water and no bathrooms they had to go to the bushes for that working from sunrise to sunset. Than he worked in the Borax factory in the than the most poisonous gases putting the lye to make the boraz chlorine/bleach “Twenty Mules” . In his second shift as a brazero he went to Truckee, California to work under extreme cold weather, going to clean the railroad tracks from the snow at 2 am so that the train could pass with their fingers almost falling off. He deserted the brazero program and became a undocumented worker( hate the alien term, we are all from the planet earth).  He worked in the fields in Bakersfield, Woodland, Esparto, all the San Joaquin Valley picking the fruit we enjoy in our holidays. At that time no rest breaks, no, toilets, no water, no shade coming to from work at sunset to a barn or a bunkhouse known as the quarters with 50 to 80 men in one bunkhouse. He came to Sonoma County and settle in the Valley with a grape farmer, at that time Sonoma was not yet known as the wine country. He lived in a shack that would be consider inhuman in todays standards. He would hid when the “Migra” would be roaming around, being warn by the farmer to hide in the hills and sleep outside only with a blanket until the “migra” passed.  In 1955 still no rights for workers my father brought us from Durango, Mexico. We worked in the fields my mother, sisters (2) and myself to provide for winter other wise no money no food. At that time ther was no unemployment rights for field workers. Until I was 21 while attending UC Davis I would come home and worked along side my family in the fields and still no rights for workers.  It was early 1970 I met Cezar Chavez and I remember him and knew this man was indeed close to Jesus Christ by his humble and strive for our people. Since than he has been my hero and will always be. No sports star who makes millions can be compared to Cezar who lived for our people to better their lives and bring justice. Iam the son of a migrant worker and proud to say I two am a son of the fields. I have spent my life working for Migrant Education Program and about to retire and will continue to help our people.

Con respecto y carino siempre: CESAR CHAVEZ VIVE !!!.
NICHOLAS OJEDA.