On March 31, 1927, near Yuma, Arizona, Cesar Chavez was born to Librado and Juana Chavez.
He was born during a time called The Great Depression. The Depression was when the economy had its worst downturn in history. Cesar’s family became so poor that his father couldn’t pay taxes for their ranch and it got repossessed in 1937. They moved to California and became migrant workers. He faced racial discrimination wherever he went including work and wanted that to change. After serving in World War Two he went back to California. In 1952 he met Fred Ross organizer for social service group a community service organization (CSO). The CSO was a non profit organization that dealt with improving the lives of Hispanic Americans.
The CSO helped Hispanic Americans in many different ways. Such as, helping them register to vote, become American Citizens, or even just helping them with their everyday jobs. Cesar was recruited to do all of these things in San Jose. He gained 4,000 more Hispanic American voters and became a paid employee in 1954.
He was assigned to start a new chapter of CSO in Oakland, California. Then he organized new chapters of CSO in Bakersfield, Madera, and Hanford successfully. Cesar still wanted to help migrant workers and hadn’t gotten the chance yet, so he came up with the idea to start a new union of CSO that would focus on improving the lives of migrant workers.
When he introduced the idea to the leaders CSO they rejected his idea, but he didn’t lose hope. He resigned because of this in 1962. With the help of Dolores Huerta- from CSO- they created National Farm Workers Association (NFWA). The soul purpose of NFWA was to fight for the rights of Hispanic Americans working in American farms.
By 1664 NFWA gained 1,000 workers dedicated to making life better for all Hispanic Immigrant farmers The NFWA joined the AFL-CIO– an organization in a strike in Delano against major grape growers. Eventually they led a worldwide strike against California table grapes. Cesar led the NFWA in fights against lettuce growers, protested against grape growers who used pesticides that were very unsafe to the workers who harvested the grapes, and called for another boycott of California grapes in 1988. Throughout all the boycotts and protests some lives were lost, but Cesar Chavez and the NFWA never gave up. In fact, even after Cesar’s death, the NFWA is still running!