Cesar Chavez, union leader and farm worker advocate, was born near Yuma Arizona on March 31, 1927. On March 23, 1993 this great man died in San Luis, Arizona. It is said that his hunger strike contributed to his death. Cesar’s commitment to farm workers was shaped by his own experience in the farm industry and his parent that taught him how imperative it was to help others. As a child, Cesar worked restlessly in his family’s farm. Later the family had to move to California because their farm was taken away for lack of money. They worked very hard in farms for very long hours and helped their coworkers there. A few years later Chavez volunteered to serve the US Navy. Cesar later came home to marry his girlfriend and transformed his life as a community leader and labor organizer. Chavez founded the United Farm Workers Association in 1950 after community service. Chavez engaged in nonviolent acts to bring attention to the farm workers. Others before him tried and tried to commit to the union but later gave up and turned to violent acts. He faced many challenges through the years.
This however did not stop him. He was willing to give his own life so that the union could continue and that violence was not used. Cesar made the struggles of the farmers known to the country. The terrible sufferings of the farm workers and their children, the crushing of farm workers dignity, the dangers of pesticides, and the denial of election for the workers is what kept Chavez going. One of his first successes was getting grape workers to sign union contracts. Cesar went on marches, boycotts, pickets, and strikes. He sought to train others and send them to other cities so they could also use these same tactics. His peaceful strategies brought attention to numerous friends and supporters like Robert Kennedy and Jesse Jackson. This great man proved that with self-sacrifice and without violence one could get justice for the people. He was an efficient leader with determination and clear goals. He always let people know that it was for them “Si Se Puede” was his saying “It Can Be Done”. This humble man fought for what he believed for and till today his organization is abundantly thriving with freedom.