CESAR CHAVEZ MURAL Essay
The artist who painted the Cesar Chavez
mural was Emigdio Vazquez. He painted the mural as a tribute to Cesar
Chavez, because Emigdio wanted to paint a heroic and poigmant mural taht
would celebrate his life and all what Cesar did for the farm workers.
On the mural Cesar Chavez is surrounded by some of his compatriots in the
farm workers movement, like Dolores Huerta, Luis Valdez, Fred Ross, Sr.
and many others. It also includes anonymous images of people who
admired Cesar Chavez during his movement that demanded respect, dignity
and social justice for them.
Cesar Chavez was a nationally recognized
chicano leader and organizer of the civil rights movement, during the 1960’s
and 1970’s. He was born in Arizona, grew up in a migrant family that
liked harvesting fruits and vegetables. In 1950 he moved to San Jose
where he became a volunteer organizer for the CSO ( Community Service Organizatio).
Cesar Chavez spent many years trying to stablish the CSO chapter and addressing
the needs of workers before becoming general director of CSO in California
and Arizona in 1958. Cesar Chavez resigned and moved to Delano, California
to organize his own farmworkers movement. In the Central Valley of
California, he created the National Farm Workers Association ( now the
United Farm Workers of America, AFL-CIO).
He received help from Dolores
Huerta, Gilberto Padilla, Fred Ross Sr. and many others. In the mid
1960’s, the union boycotted and striked many agricultural products with
progressive succes. In 1975, the California Labor Relations Act was
passed largely due to the work of Chavez and the UFWA. Cesar Chavez
died in 1993.
Dolores Huerta was bornon April 10, 1930
in a mining town in northern New Mexico.
Her father, Juan Fernandez,
was a miner, field worker, union activist and State Assemblyman.
Her mother, Alicia Chavez was a businesswoman who owned a restaurant and
a 70-room hotel, which often put up farm worker families for free.
In 1955, Dolores Huerta was a member of the Stockton chapter of the Community
Service Organization (“CSO”), that was started by Fred Ross, Sr.
Dolores organized and found the Agricultural Workers Association in 1960.
In 1962, she lobbied in Washington DC for an end to the “captive labor”
Bracero Program. In 1962, after the CSO turned down Cesar’s request,
Cesar and Dolores resigned from the CSO.
Then they formed The National
Farm Workers Association (“NFWA”) in Delano, California. Dolores
Huertais the co-founder and Secretary-Tresurer of the United Farm Workers
of America, AFL-CIO (“UFW”). By 1965 Dolores and Cesar had recruited
farm workers and their families throughout the San JOaquin Valley.
On September 8 of 1965, filipino member of the (“AWOC”) Agricultural Workers
Organizing Commite demanded higher wags and struck Delano area grape growers.
In 1966, Dolores negotiated the first UFWOC contrct with the Schanley Wine
company. In 1973 the grape contracts expired and the grape owners
signed sweetheart contracts with the Teamsters Union.
At 69 of age,
Dolores Huerta still works long hours promoting “La Causa” and women’s
rughts. During thirty years Dolores Huerta remained Cesar Cavez most
loyal and trusted advisor. Then they together founded the Robert
F. Kennedy Medical Plan, the Juan De La Cruz Farm Worker Pension Fund,
the Farm Workers Credit Union.
Under the leadership of nonviolence advocate
Cesar Chavez, farmworkers launched a strike against California grape growers
in 1965, demanding better working conditions and fair wages. In 1970,
they undertook a national table grape boycott that eventually led to the
first union contacts in farm labor history.
An important milestone
was the passing of the California Labor relations Act.
The Chicano/a movement, influenced by the
Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s, grew out of alliances between farmworkers
struggling to unionize in California and Tezas. A chicano artist
produced this mural on memory of Cesar Chavez and his movements in favor
of the civil rights of the farmworkers in California, Texas, and Arizona. .