Senator Robert F. Kennedy described Cesar Chavez as “one of the heroic figures of our time.”
A true American hero, Cesar was a civil rights, Latino and farm labor leader; a genuinely religious and spiritual figure; a community organizer and social entrepreneur; a champion of militant nonviolent social change; and a crusader for the environment and consumer rights.
Cesar’s motto, “Si se puede!” (“Yes, it can be done!”), coined during his 1972 fast in Arizona, embodies the uncommon legacy he left for people around the world.
A first-generation American, he was born on March 31, 1927, near his family’s small homestead in the North Gila River Valley outside Yuma, Arizona. At age 11, his family lost their farm during the Great Depression and became migrant farm workers. Throughout his youth and into adulthood, Cesar traveled the migrant streams throughout California laboring in the fields, orchards and vineyards, where he was exposed to the hardships and injustices of farm worker life..