Cesar Chavez 3-day event in San Luis celebrates legacy

Cesar Chavez 3-day event in San Luis celebrates legacy

SAN LUIS, AZ - Local farmworker Jose Gonzales says although he didn't know labor leader Cesar Chavez personally, his legacy impacts him.

"I know his ideals and what he wanted to do.  He worked for the people," says Gonzales, who also works at Comite de Bienestar, a non-profit organization that helps migrant workers and their families.  "[Chavez] worked for the farm workers.  In those years, they needed someone who saw their problems.  And Cesar was extremely concerned for them.  And he worked for all the rural people until he died."

Gonzales and others are organizing the three-day event, which celebrates Chavez's life.

Floribella Redondo with Campesinos Sin Fronteras remembers the labor leader's influence.

"I was one of the persons that was part of the Cesar Chavez movement in the 70's and 80's so I think that...we need to go back to what we thought it was the justice that we fought for," says Redondo.  "Now we kind of take for granted."

Comite de Bienestar Executive Director Tony Reyes says the event will include a health and wellness fair, lots of food and entertainment.  One of the highlights this weekend will be the march of 500 riders on horseback, followed by a foot march.  Organizers expect about 500 participants will march from Plaza Riedel to the Cesar Chavez statue at the Cultural Center named after the labor leader.  Reyes hopes the event will move the younger generation to catch Chavez' vision and continue his work.

"Unfortunately over time, the legacy of a man sometimes, in this particular case, gets diffused because of the passing of time," says Reyes.  "There's still a lot of things that can be done.  There's still a lot of injustices, there's still a lot of very bad living conditions that still exist today and that it's an obligation to make sure that message just gets out there."

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