Tag Archives: Cesar Chavez

Students Speak about Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez

On the morning of April 4 a group of poised lower school girls spoke about Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez. Below is what they shared.

Dolores Huerta’s birthday is coming up on April 10. Dolores’s mother taught her to always help others. Dolores went to school and became a teacher. Soon she met farmworkers’ children who would come to school cold and barefoot. They came to school when the farmers didn’t need them in the fields to pick crops. They were also too hungry to learn in school.

Cesar Chavez’s birthday was this past Sunday, March 31st. He was born in Arizona but had to move to California because his family lost their farm in Arizona because of unpaid taxes. The only work they could find was to become part of the California migrant farmworkers’ population. Cesar had to drop out of school. They never had an address because they had to move from farm to farm to pick lettuce or strawberries or grapes.

Continue reading

Attorney Julian Sanchez Speaks for Farmworkers

Grade 5 students are studying labor and migrant farmworkers, including the work of Cesar Chavez, and the book, The Circuit by Francisco Jimenez. On February 15, students had the opportunity to hear firsthand about the life of a migrant farmworker. The Hamlin School welcomed attorney Julian Sanchez, a man who picked apricots in California for three years, and now champions the rights of farmworkers.

Mr. Sanchez’s parents are in their mid-fifties, and still work in the fields picking crops. He described a day in their life.

They wake up at 4am; get to the fields around 5am, wearing long sleeves, a hat, and a handkerchief. Depending on the season and the region, they work picking onions, almonds, rice, tomatoes, or watermelons. They work for 12 hours a day with 30 minutes for lunch. They arrive home tired with their bodies hurting. In the summer my mother will work from 6pm to 6am to avoid the heat of the day. They have no sick days and no paid days off for vacation. 

Mr. Sanchez asked students to come up with a list of rights for workers. The girls stated:

Sick leave, paid vacation, clean water, bathroom facilities, time for lunch/breaks, a living wage, health insurance, the right to speak up without being fired

Continue reading