Cesar Chavez

Tell us what you did
to help Cesar's cause

"LE CAMPESINO"

LE CAMPESINO

It was 1968-69. I had finished college and couldn’t find a job, so naturally I went to live with my sister, who was working. I heard about a Teatro that was performing in the Fresno area, and I went to see it. It blew my mind away. I had been raised in Mexico, and the Mexican feel of the thing was magical. I liked the fact that there was a feeling of family with the Mexican agricultural workers, and at the same time there were Anglos in the group who were just as much family. I joined and became part of the grape strike. We toured the area with Cesar’s message; “sign the contract”.which always stopped the show as people burst into applause. I painted what became known as the “del Rey mural”, showing la soldadera, Zapata, Villa, Cesar, Tijerina, Malcolm and MLK. By this time the Teatro had become famous, and we received an invitation to an International Theater Festival in Nancy, France. Before I knew it I was in a bus along the Seine with Notre Dame in front of me, as we sped on to the German border. We took the message of “le campesino”, as they called us, far and wide, performing in theaters, on the streets, and even at the Sorbonne. After it was over we all went our separate ways, Luis and Lupe got married, Donna went to London and became a model briefly, Augie dropped out, Luis and Danny started making movies in Hollywood. The farm workers continued working as they always, had, their lives made better by the union until the growers could figure out how to circumvent the rules and keep them as an underclass. La lucha continua.