On Saturday March 31, the community of Santa Cruz, California celebrated the birth and legacy of the Latino leader, Cesar Chavez. Held at the Barrios Unidos Community Center, the celebration featured speeches from Mayor David and community activists, musical bands and dancing contests, traditional costumes, an oldies car show, and free food.
For weeks, the BU Center staff prepared for this daylong event. The spirit of Cesar Chavez was everywhere, especially in the colorful murals on the Center's walls. It was an honor to work with BU staff and college graduate Erika Lopez to hang the outside mural so people could take commemorative photos during the festivities. During the day, I especially enjoyed helping prepare the grille to feed everyone.
"The fight is never about grapes or lettuce," Cesar Chavez once said, "It is always about people. All we want to succeed is justice and equity for our people."
Cesar Chavez is important to the Latino community because he was a very inspiring labor leader and civil
rights activist. In 1962, he co-founded the United Farm Workers Association with Dolores Huerta. Cesar lived at the same time as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He was to the Latin people what Dr. King was to the African Americans. He was peace activist for the rights of the hard-working farmer workers and Latino people. There are now six states in the U.S. that have Cesar Chavez Day.
Cesar Chavez and other activists inspire me to become great by thinking not only of myself but also about the people around me. Bringing each other together makes us stronger and knowledgeable. With those two things a community can accomplish anything and overcome any obstacle. Cesar taught me and others that you can't leave your community behind because they are your people and they know your culture like no other. So we must work together to understand each other.
Cesar Chavez was a mentor to my mentor, Nane Alejandrez. I've learned so much from Nane about the way of peace. He's taught me that it takes patience and dedication to accomplish your goals, your career and your future. Working along-side the people of the Santa Cruz community to celebrate the life of Cesar Chavez was a really great feeling. Seeing everyone come together remind me of hometown of Holyoke. I'm grateful to have been there with my internship and with everyone from the community.