Presentation on theme: "CESAR CHAVEZ 1927 - 1993. Cesar Chavez spent the first ten years of his life on a small farm near Yuma, Arizona. His family and most of the Mexican American."— Presentation transcript:
Cesar Chavez spent the first ten years of his life on a small farm near Yuma, Arizona. His family and most of the Mexican American families around him spoke Spanish. Many of his neighbors grew their own food on their own small farms.
These people were poor. Because they were poor, they had no extra money to pay their taxes. The government took their land away from them if they didn’t pay their taxes.
Many of these families moved to California when they lost their own farms. They became migrant farm workers. Migrant workers travel from farm to farm picking fruits and vegetables when they become ripe.
Cesar Chavez was ten years old when his family moved to California. Being a migrant worker was very hard. His family and the other migrant families lived in shacks with no running water.
The migrant workers only spoke Spanish. The farm owners only spoke English. It was hard for the workers to discuss problems with the farm owners. The owners only cared about getting their fruits and vegetables picked. They did not want to hear about the problems of the migrant workers.
Many of the children of the migrant workers worked in the fields with their parents every day. They did not have a chance to go to school. Others had to change schools every time their parents moved to a new farm.
By the time Cesar was in the eighth grade he had gone to more than 30 different schools. He was determined to learn all he could. He even learned to speak and read English.
When Cesar grew up he became a leader of the migrant workers. He helped them learn to read and write. He helped them register to vote. He helped them join together to form a union called the National Farm Workers’ Association. (NRWA)
The NFWA was later renamed the United Farm Workers. They organized the workers to fight for better pay and better conditions. In 1965 the grape workers went on strike. Huelga means strike in Spanish.
A strike is a refusal to do something until certain people do what you want them to do. In this strike the farm workers refused to work until the farmers recognized their right to have a union and receive fair pay.
Cesar Chavez asked people across the United States to support the strike by boycotting, or not buying, grapes. Through boycotts and strikes, Cesar Chavez helped the migrant workers get better housing, higher pay, more schooling for their children, and respect for their union.