César Chávez, American Hero: A Brief History for the ESL Class

On Tuesday, March 31st, EC San Diego school has the day off – not only to catch up on homework (or rest & relaxation) but also to commemorate César Chávez, a champion for the rights of migrant workers everywhere.


Take Action: Urge a César Chávez National Day of Service YouTube video

Mr. Chávez was born into a farming family Yuma, Arizona, on March 31, 1927. César Chávez employed nonviolent means to bring attention to the difficult conditions of migrant farmworkers. He fought for the rights of these workers to unionize, take lunch breaks and have access both to both restrooms and clean water. He formed the organization that has today become known as United Farm Workers. As a labor leader, Chávez led marches, called for boycotts and went on several hunger strikes. He once fasted for 36 straight days . It is believed that Chávez’ hunger strikes contributed to his death on April 23, 1993, in San Luis, Arizona.

On March 31st, Californians honor his sacrifice to improve American lives. While Mr. Chávez’ formal education ended in 8th grade (age 14), Senator Robert F. Kennedy called him “one of the heroic figures of our time” according to the César Chávez Foundation.

Also in a telegram to Mr. César Chávez, fellow non-violent civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stated that “our separate struggles are really one – a struggle for freedom, for dignity and for humanity.”

So what can we do to keep César Chávez’ memory alive?

Surprisingly, California is only one of three U.S. States that officially recognize César Chávez Day. Consider using your #ecexperience voice to learn more. Watch an informative YouTube video about César Chávez , sign the petition and urge the U.S. President to declare March 31 as the César Chávez National Day of Service.

We at EC San Diego appreciate the legacy of Mr. Chávez, and hope that all of our students at our school can too!