Cesar Chavez Day 2023

La Quinta Museum to commemorate Cesar Chavez on March 31

La Quinta Museum will be celebrating Cesar Chavez Day with a special presentation from 3 to 4 p.m. March 31 in the Community Room.

“La Sobremesa: Cesar Chavez Day!” will explore the life of Chavez, who died in 1993, and his fight to defend the rights of farm workers in California through interviews, books and images.

The event will be in Spanish and will include refreshments. It is this month’s Spanish Cultural Day event at the museum and is free and open to all.

Cesar Chavez was a civil rights activist and American labor leader who with Dolores Huerta co-founded the National Farm Workers Association (NFWA) which later merged with the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee to become the United Farm Workers (UFW) labor union.

For decades, Chavez dedicated his life’s work to the struggle of farm workers, most of whom were barely getting by on their wages of just 40 cents an hour. Chavez worked tirelessly to improve working and living conditions through organizing and negotiating contracts with their employers.

In September 1965, the NFWA and the Filipino-American labor group, the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee, launched a strike against California’s grape growers that lasted five years and grew into a nationwide boycott of California grapes.

Chavez brought the boycott drew widespread support when he led a 340-mile march from Delano to Sacramento in 1966, and in 1968 went on a 25-day hunger strike.

His birth date, March 31, was first established as a legal holiday in 2000 by then-Governor Gray Davis. It was established as a federal commemorative holiday in 2014 by then-President Barack Obama.

Cesar Chavez Day 2023

On exhibit through April 15

When at the museum for “La Sobremesa: Cesar Chavez Day!” be sure to include some time to view “In the Fields of the North / En los Campos del Norte,” a traveling exhibit displayed in the downstairs gallery.

The exhibit is a series of photographs accompanied by oral narratives by photographer and journalist David Bacon.It was produced in partnership with the California Rural Legal Assistance and the Binational Front of Indigenous organizations and is presented in English and Spanish. It includes photos of Coachella Valley farm workers.

“In the Fields of the North / En los Campos del Norte,” is traveled by Exhibit Envoy, and is on display through April 15.

Recently added is a display of personal items from Coachella Valley resident, farm worker and author, Maria Victoria Castillo, which includes her family’s UFW flag, harvesting tools they used and other items, including several photos.

Castillo and her family were members of the UFW, and the union flag displayed is the one her mother, Maria Teresa Ramirez, waved while picketing in the Coachella Valley fields in the early 1970s.

Castillo shares her family’s history and experiences in a book she recently wrote, “Field Work Through the Eyes of a Child.”

The La Quinta Museum, at 77-885 Avenida Montezuma, is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Admission is free. For more about the museum, its exhibits, concerts and other events and programs, visit www.playinlaquinta.com or check out the La Quinta Museum’s Facebook page.

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