Cesar Chavez

Tell us what you did
to help Cesar's cause

"My first picketing experience"

My first picketing experience

I first heard about the UFW during the summer between 9th and 10th grade, 1974.  I was in a progressive program in summer school which emphasized independent study. Some UFW representatives came to the school to give us a lecture about the UFW.  I was shocked at the conditions the farmworkers lived and worked in, so I volunteered.  That summer, I went along with these college students to picket stores, stand on corners with placards encourging everyone to boycott grapes and lettuce.  When we were not picketing, we were going door to door collecting canned goods, and spreading the word about the conditions the farm workers tolerated daily.  We got a lot of support, but we also had quite a bit of hatred directed at us.  We just smiled, gave them the peace sign, and kept doing our thing!  I remember this was the first time I got politically involved with anything.  I’m glad I did.  This was the step off point for me and my thirst for political activitism and US and Mexican history.  I learned things like Si Se Pueda, which I have used ever since if I am faced with an insurmountable task.  Si Se Puede has helped me in many situations.  I am 55 years old now, and I still remember my days with the UFW.