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A Short Look at the Life of Cesar Chavez

By imacdonald14 Nov 24, 2013 412 Words
Many of the people who immigrate to America from Mexico do so because they are impoverished and in search of better work that will bring them a better standard of living. The problem is that these poor people typically have little to no formal education or job training. This means that they more often than not end up working as unskilled laborers. A common practice is for these people to become migrant farm workers that move from farm to farm in the American West picking different things for farm owners depending on the season. The life of the migrant farm worker is not an easy one. Many farm owners have been known to take advantage of the lack of education and organization of these poor people to get them into bad situations where contracts require them to work grueling hours for meager wages and to lose a lot of that small bit that they did receive back as living expenses. The workers found that the only way to earn fair treatment was to organize into labor unions. Because of the hard work and dedication of heroes of the organized labor movement like Cesar Chavez, migrant farm workers all over have been able to improve their lots in life. Cesar Chavez was born on March 31, 1927 in Yuma, Arizona. In 1938 his family lost its home in Arizona and his parents moved the family to California so they could become migrant farm workers. He quit school in 1942 in order to help support his family by working in the fields. Chavez was in the navy from 1946 to 1948. When he returned home from his service in 1948, he married Helen Fabela and settled down in California once again as a migrant farm worker. In 1958 he began working as an organizer for a Latino civil rights organization called the Community Service Organization. His duty in the organization was trying to get more Latinos involved in politics by getting them registered to vote. He worked for the CSO until he left to found the National Farm Workers Association with Dolores Huerta in 1962. The NFWA would later be changed to and earn fame as the United Farm Workers or UFW. Chavez first helped to bring major national attention to the plight of farm workers with his and his organization’s participation in a strike and eventual boycott on California table grapes that lasted for five years. The strike was initiated on September 8, 1965 by Filipino workers that wanted to earn higher wages.

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