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.
They had to work out in the sun every day. They were bent over all day. They never had enough clean water to drink. The farmers would have some of the workers spray poisons on the crops while they were working.
Then one day something very special happened. Dolores and Cesar met. They became friends. Cesar could see that Dolores had great courage to fight for what’s right. Dolores could see that Cesar had great faith. His dreams would bring hope to thousands of farm workers. Dolores and Cesar knew that people needed to treat each other much better. They knew they had to get people to come together and let people know that farmworkers and their families weren’t being paid fairly or treated well.
Dolores and Cesar drove from farm to farm and town to town to let people in California know that farmers weren’t taking care of their workers. They would stand on the back of trucks asking the farmworkers to stop picking crops. Many farmworkers did join Dolores and Cesar in what became known as La Causa….The Cause. They walked away from their work and went to talk to other farmworkers on other farms.
Dolores and Cesar wanted people to get together to picket grocery stores that sold lettuce, strawberries, and grapes. Dolores, Cesar, and the farmworkers wanted the farmers to give the workers clean water, rest breaks, not use poisonous spray on crops and have the children go to school.
The farmworkers won! The farmers had to give farmworkers and their families better housing, better living conditions, and schools for their children.
Both Dolores and Cesar believed in non-violent protest. Although some people believe that Cesar Chavez started saying Si se puede! It was really Dolores Huerta who started people chanting. Si Se Puede! Yes, we can!