Top 10 Things You Should Know About Inspirational Latino Leader César Chávez


César Chávez and the Mission District of San Francisco are intricately intertwined. 

Please take some time this César Chávez Day to reflect on all the great work this inspirational leader did to make our Mission community — and the world — a better place.

Here are the “Top 10 Things You Should Know About César Chávez”

  1. Chávez was born in 1927 in Yuma, Arizona, with his family living in an adobe home built by his grandfather.
  2. Chávez’ family lost their farm due to back taxes and had to become migrant farm workers to make a living.
  3. Chávez was a vegetarian. 
  4. After moving to California, Chávez’ family lived in a underresourced neighborhood, Salsipuedes; ironically, this town’s name translates as “escape if you can.”
  5. Chávez was the founder of the National Farm Workers Association.
  6. One of Chávez’ first major actions was a Delano, Calif., strike against grape farmers. Chávez and 67 workers decided to march the 340 miles to the state capital of Sacramento, which took several weeks. The crowd grew larger en route, so much so that thousands showed up in Sacramento. In the end, the grape growers agreed to many of the worker’s conditions and signed a contract with the union.
  7. Chávez turned down a prestigious job from President John F. Kennedy; Chávez preferred to keep working with his union.
  8. After his 1993 death, Chávez was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
  9. Chávez’ motto was “Sí, se puede,” translating as “Yes, we can.”
  10. César Chávez is a 2014 movie with Michael Pena in the starring role and America Ferrara as Chávez’ wife, Helen.