By Jacqueline Lee, Youth United Member
As a Mexican-American in the 1940’s, son to immigrant parents, and a migrant worker, life was not always easy for Cesar Chavez. Near Yuma, Arizona on March 31, 1927, Cesar Chavez was born in an era of depression, lack of prosperity, and economic downfall. However, through this high tension period, Chavez trudged through it all and found ways to nonviolently protest for the rights of farmers as he advocated for better pay, treatment, and working environments–he knew all too well the struggles of a farmer in this society.
Through his unconditional hard work and dedication to work for a social change, Chavez mobilized people of all different colors and created the National Farm Workers Association, later known as United Farm workers. As this group began to grow, Chavez called for a national boycott against the California Grape Growers demanding better labor conditions, winning small victories along the way.
Chavez led marches, boycotts, hunger strikes, and most importantly, brought in awareness for social justice. His persistent devotion to such a cause was so great that it led to his own death during a hunger strike on April 23, 1993 in Arizona.
Cesar Chavez, an inspiration to us all, teaches Americans that we should not go down without a fight, and that together, we can make a difference. In his battle to fight for social justice and social equality, Chavez educates us on the significance of persistence and commitment. His trust in society and his fate in humanity brings us to where we are today, shedding light in the value of support and assistance: “You are never strong enough that you don’t need help.”
In Habitat for Humanity, we try our best to reflect these same morals, sharing the stories of other people and bringing the society together one house at a time. While Habitat for Humanity may not specifically aim for the equal rights of farmers, we, collectively, work hard for social justice in hopes to make the same impact Chavez made on our society today.
Through Chavez’s story, Habitat endeavors his goals, reminding us of the reason why we help others: to ultimately bring the world together and make this world a happier place.
So when we put each board up, nailing a slab of wood together with the help of others, we can always remember that together and through the power of a strong community, “¡Si se puede!”