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Celebrating Cesar Chavez Day

Mar. 25, 2021
 

César Chávez was a Chicano leader who fought for civil rights and the labor movement in the 20th century, and his legacy holds a special place in Denver. Our city commemorated Chávez’s birthday as a holiday more than 20 years ago, many years before it was declared a national holiday in 2014. Each year, this holiday falls on the last Monday of March. 

The César E. Chávez Peace and Justice Committee of Denver, an important group that has pushed for broader recognition of Chávez, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Dolores Huerta, another labor leader who fought with Chávez and helped coin the saying, “Sí se puede,” will be a keynote speaker at the event on Saturday, March 27. 

The committee has organized César Chávez Day marches since 2001 and accomplished many commemorative goals, including naming a park in the Auraria neighborhood after César Chávez in 2005 and unveiling a commemorative statue in 2015. 

DPS recognizes the significance of the Chicano and labor movements to civil rights, and the importance of César Chávez Day. 

Una Despedida Para Cesar Chavez

by Dr. Ramon Del Castillo, a leader in the Chicano Movement and also a retired Chair of the Chicano Studies Department at Metropolitan College. 

Somewhere in Heaven,

        a place has been waiting

        for your arrival.

The time to orchestrate

“el union” with the Grand Organizer

        has arrived.

No more sweet heart contracts.

No more pesticides.

No more scabs.

No more picket signs.

No more deaths caused

        by insensitive growers,

only the sweet smell of orchids and roses

growing tall and honorable

in lettuce fields donde la tierra

is cultivated with justice

whose soil is tilled

with the philosophy of non-violence

de la gente humilde

que no mas buscan paz.

 

Bring out the bandera roja

with the eagle centered

en el medio,

let it flutter

so la huelga can

spread it wings

flying away with brother Cesar

to the Promised Land.

Remember its white circle symbolizing

a pure and just cause;

its red color symbolizing unity

y la muerte injusta brought upon farmworkers

by insensitive growers

seeking dignity.

Use the bandera to wipe away las lagrimas

human tears that fell onto mother earth

from Delano to Sacramento

from Pueblo to Denver

during those times when human lives

were used

abused and discarded.

Remember the bloodshed

as a  worthy cause

y los grape and lettuce boycotts

when human beings knew not

el valor de su hermano.

Somewhere in Heaven

        a place has been

        waiting for you.

Pasa con Dios, Hermano Cesar.

Your kind gentle words

will now sprinkle down from el cielo

like the springtime raindrops

that water the crops

growing the nourishment

for a better tomorrow

reminding us

of those relentless moments

when we marched on the streets

of urban America

so that our brothers and sisters

in the fields might obtain justice.

 

Somewhere in Heaven,

        a place has been

set aside for you.

San Cesar Chavez

        talk to God for us

encourage Him

to send wisdom

in spiritual forms,

in poetic forms

in musical forms

in dance forms

so that your struggle

will not have been

in vain.

 

Vaya con Dios, Cesar!

Gracias por su conocimiento!

Gracias por el tiempo

cuando estuvistes con nosotros.

 

Que viva la huelga!

Y que viva el espiritu de Cesar Chavez!