Rennae Alyssa Rangel
“Si se puede!” Those were the three famous Spanish words that Cesar Chavez lived by. Cesar Chavez was a renowned Mexican American that fought for farm workers’ rights in the United States of American during the 1970s. His courage and heroic actions have built a legacy that lives and lingers throughout our country today. To help keep it alive, director, Diego Luna created an amazing motion picture film chronicling the birth of a modern American movement called “Cesar Chavez.” The major points of the movie focused primarily on the obstacles Chavez either had to face or overcome when trying to gain rights for the farm workers. The movie stressed a great deal on the fact that Chavez was willing to give anything and everything for the farm workers’ rights as employees and as human beings. I say this as I vividly remember sitting in the theatre while watching Chavez (Michael Pena) fast for 25 days to ensure that the union would continue to strike and boycott without the use of violence because he believed that the use of violence showed they were weak. Another example was when he led the Delano Grape Strike of 1965. By this time the United Farm Workers Association had already formed so word about boycotting the grapes spread fast. At the height of his union’s strength, more than 17 million Americans boycotted grapes to help California farmworkers win contracts. This was another successful idea of Chavez and the Union.
Chavez didn’t have a list of thousands of accomplishments but the few that he did have were in fact incredibly awesome. The first of the few was being named co-founder of the United Farm Workers Association along with Dolores Huerta in 1962. After the many years of harsh treatment out in the fields, this union was not only starting to shine the light of hope on the farm workers and their families but it was also motivating Chavez to strive for more. He has also been given credit for creating the first union contracts (to negotiate topics such as wages, and working conditions) and the first contracts that require health benefits for farm workers (rest periods, clean water, hand washing stations, and protective clothing against pesticide exposure). Last but not least in 1994, late Chavez’s family received the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award from Bill Clinton for Cesar himself. Chavez not only impacted the Mexican Americans but he shaped the lives of farm workers who were of African American, Filipino, white, and all other backgrounds. He also helped them gain the admiration and respect each and every one of them deserved. I could never imagine being routinely manipulated by my employers, or often going unpaid. Living in shacks in exchange for labor with no medical or other essential accommodations was also…