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Cesar Chavez Role Model

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Cesar Chavez was a great role model and activist for farmers with bad working conditions. He stood up to large fruit-growing organizations who would not provide well-paying jobs to local citizens. For his actions, he was given numerous awards. Cesar was born near Yuma, Arizona in 1927. He was the second of five children. As a child, he would pick crops on many different farms, then went to school. At school, he could not speak Spanish, his native language. If he did, we would be hit by the teacher. The Chavez's had no permanent home, living where they could near the farm where they worked. His mother taught them many valuable life lessons. One winter, he and his family had to sleep in a tent in a woman's backyard. They moved so much that…show more content…
It was growing largely, having 1700 families as members by 1965. Grape pickers were paid about one dollar an hour in California. Another union was fighting against grape growers, too. They worked together to form the UFWOC (United Farm Workers Organizing Committee). Cesar led a 300-mile march of the grape growers. When that didn't work, he stopped eating. He drank only water and soda for 25 days. Robert F. Kennedy, a senator at that time, gave Cesar a piece of bread. Kennedy said, "I come here as an American citizen to honor Cesar Chavez. I honor him for his compassion, his honesty, his truth, and dedication." In 1970, the boycott ended and higher wages and health care were given to Cesar's union. He organized a boycott of lettuce. He was thrown in jail when he refused to end the boycott. After that, he refused to eat for twenty-four days. Poisonous chemicals were being sprayed on grapes at that time. Chavez led a boycott of the grapes and for thirty-six days he fasted. Sadly, he died while sleeping in 1993 in Arizona while doing business for his union. After he died, his widow accepted the Presidential Medal of Freedom for him presented by president Bill Clinton. Forty thousand people attended his burial. At his ceremony, Bill Clinton said,"This remarkable man...with faith and discipline, with soft-spoken humility and amazing inner strength, led a very courageous life. And in so doing, he brought dignity to the lives of so many others and provided for us inspiration for the rest of our nation's
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