Cesar Chavez

Tell us what you did
to help Cesar's cause

"Memories..."

Memories...

When our family came to California, my grandfather worked on the railroad.My grandparents took their children into the fields to work for the summer. They would return with added money to help buy shoes, dresses for the girls and supplies for school. My aunts and uncles would wash their hands with Purex, so that the other children would not see that they were picking walnuts during the Summer and Fall. Slowly our family started to progress as my aunts and uncles started to grow. Some of us were old enough to share in the work, so we went along. the times were hard and ruff. One of my grandmother’s children died of asphixiation at one of the camps, so they got rid of them fast before anyone could know. My grandmother was an advid reader. My grandmother was the matriach. She taught us the value of education, pride in yourself, your reputation and respect for family. She taught my grandfather to how to read. We all shared in the work and given good work ethics. We never took help from anyone except the union. Unions were more socially involved. Maybe a sign of the times. Cesar believed in us. He taught us to be leaders, how to take charge organizing other workers, to be creative. Soon our special lettuce and grape campaigns impacted all the labor movements. It brought on special outright rage from the ranchers and owners. Once out of school, I wanted to make my mark on the movement, by then the Vietnam war was on. It took good organizers from the fields to the cities and the union was left with staff and officers that would run the same type of weak non strategic campaigns. We lost ground.