Cesar Chavez

Tell us what you did
to help Cesar's cause

"The Greatest Honor"

I was recruited to become the boycott organizer for San Diego chapter of UFW when I was very young, in my teens.  I was prepared to do this work because of the example my grandparents had set by being members of the cannery workers union, I remember going to the union hall with them when there were talks of strike.  All those people who were Spanish-speaking, who needed the work, and yet they risked it all to organize themselves for better pay.  I was also raised in the Catholic Church which at the time had a tradition of social justice.  I remember how when we would start campaigns, we always had a priest come to pray with us and bless our work.  I worked for the boycott and then later worked with the Prop campaign; we also did work with the offices down in San Ysidro, and we did vigils at the tomato fields, all the work organizers do.  The thing that I remember most are the trips we took up to La Paz; the first time I went and was introduced to Cesar, I will never forget that moment.  He came out of a room, we were introduced, and he shook my hand.  It was the greatest honor of my life.  What I came away with, from my time with the UFW, is exactly what Cesar Chavez said to all of us, to you, to the world.  “In the end all we really have to give is our lives.  It is how we use our lives that makes us who we are.”  I have tried to live my life, especially in my younger years, never ashamed or embarassed to work for what may seem like hopeless causes, work hard and never falter, when the cause is just.  And for that great purpose, I thank Cesar Chavez.