CALEXICO – Hundreds marched down 2nd Street in Calexico on Saturday March 28th, to honor the legendary Cesar Chavez, an American farm worker, labor leader, and civil rights activist, who, with Dolores Huerta, co-founded the National Farm Workers Association.
Local and Mexicali residents filled the street wearing red shirts, waiving red flags with an eagle emblem, while chanting versus such as, “Long live Cesar Chavez,” “Yes we can”, “It was possible,” and “The people united will never be defeated.”
Calexico residents Alejo Cortez and Susana Roig said, “We are here to support the cause. We are union members and know the struggle Cesar Chavez faced and we are here to lend the community our support.”
This is the second year this event took place in Calexico.
Joining the cause were also District 1 Supervisor, John Renison, Calexico Councilman, Luis Castro, Mayor Pro Tem/Vice Chair, Joong S. Kim, and Calexico High School teacher, Bill Hodge who said, “I feel honored to be a part of this celebration, I like to be involved with my community and give them my support.”
“We appreciate and recognize what Cesar Chavez accomplished to better the quality of life for field workers and people in general. He developed programs for kids who now are police officers, highway patrols, fireman and teachers,” said UFCW Local 135 representative, Frank Gracia.
Mariachi Centinela from Calexico High School played their instruments and sang Mexican songs as they too marched for this cause.
“This is our second year participating in this event. It is unusual to see a mariachi marching while singing, it’s exciting and fulfilling, it’s just a natural feeling,” said members Itzelle Carmona, Elias Oceguera, Sammy Villaseñor, Joe Tornero and Rene Arvizu.
The marcha ended at Rockwood Park where the celebration began with the following prayer written by Cesar Chavez before his death:
PRAYER OF THE FARM WORKERS’ STRUGGLE
Show me the suffering of the most miserable;
So I will know my people’s plight.
Free me to pray for others;
For you are present in every person.
Help me take responsibility for my own life;
So that I can be free at last.
Grant me courage to serve others;
For in service there is “true life”.
Give me honesty and patience;
So that I can work with other workers.
Bring forth song and celebration;
So that the Spirit will be alive among us.
Let the Spirit flourish anti grow;
So that we will never tire of the struggle.
Let us remember those who have died for justice;
For they have given us life.
Help us love even those who hate us;
So we can change the world.
Local film director and producer, Roy Dorantes who is currently producing “Killing Cesar Chavez,” also joined the celebration as did guest singers such as Antonio Toñito Morales from La Voz Kids, Grupo Vision Norteña, Josefina Martin, Maribel Puentes, Hidalgo Society Folklorico, and Zumba West.[envira-gallery id=”54174″]