Born on March 31, 1927, César Chávez was a union leader and labor organizer. He dedicated his life to the improvement of pay and working conditions for farm workers. In 1962 he became a folk hero and symbol of hope for millions of Americans. Today we would like to share with you 7 things you may not know about Chavez and 2 recipes to commemorate the most important Latino leader in US history.
In 1972 he fasted for 25 days. César Chávez and Dolores Huerta (Co-founder of UFW) used the slogan “Si, se puede” for “Yes, it can be done.” In 2008, inspired by Chavez, Barack Obama used the slogan “yes, we can!”, a direct translation of rallying cries of the farm workers movement. In 2014, Obama decreed March 31st as Cesar Chavez day.
In 1962 president John F. Kennedy offered Chavez the opportunity to be the head of the peace corps for part of Latin America, but he turned it down. That same year Cesar Chavez co-founded the National Farm Workers Association.
Chavez was nominated 3 times for the Peace Nobel prize: In 1971, 1974, and 1975, although he never received it.
Inspired by Gandhi, on February 15, 1968, Chavez began a fast. Ten days after, he ended it next to Senator Robert Kennedy. It was the first of what would become a series of Chavez fasts. In 1988 at age 61, he fasted for 36 days and lost approximately 30 pounds.
He was an animal activist too. The last 25 years of his life, he became vegetarian and for some time vegan.
“I became a vegetarian after realizing that animals feel afraid, cold, hungry and unhappy like we do… I feel very deeply about vegetarianism and the animal kingdom. It was my dog Boycott who led me to question the right of humans to eat other sentient beings” Chavez said.
In fact, when Cesar died, he was buried next to his dog.
After his death, several parks, streets, avenues, and schools where named in his honor in several cities across the US. For example, César Chávez Square (Phoenix), Cesar E Chavez Park (Long Beach), César Chavez Library (San Jose), César Chavez Avenue (Somerton), and Avenida Cesar Chavez (Los Angeles).
Chavez was inspired by 2 other great human right activists: Gandhi and Luther King, Jr. He dedicated himself to making change through non-violent actions such as hunger strikes and marches.
Commemorate and share with your family and friends these two incredible recipes and remember “If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him… the people who give you their food give you their heart” Cesar Chavez.
Okra Curry with tomato is a semi-dry curry. Its preparation takes approximately 20 minutes. With few ingredients and a selection of Indian spices, this vegan curry will be the sensation in Cesar Chavez celebration. Give a taste! And find this recipe here.
The taste of this cake will take you to the clouds. It is such a fluffy cake that it will be like giving one big bite to a lemon cloud. Cardamom gives the ideal touch to this recipe. Share a piece of this cake, and you will win the hearts of your neighbors.