¡Feliz César Chávez Day!

Cesar Chavez Day is a U.S. federal commemorative holiday, proclaimed by President Barack Obama in 2014.


EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a version of the “evergreen” feature we run every Cesar Chavez Day. This version lacks the listing of what’s open and what’s closed because everything is closed. Stay safe at home, pochos!


The holiday celebrates the birth and legacy of the civil rights and labor movement activist Cesar Chavez on March 31 every year. [Wikipedia.]

Who was Chavez?

Mas…¡Feliz César Chávez Day!

The time MLK sent a telegram to Cesar Chavez (photo)


“I am deeply moved by your courage,” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, wrote to UFW founder Cesar Chavez in 1966.

“As brothers in the fight for equality,” he wrote, “I extend the hand of fellowship and good will and wish continuing success to you and your members. The fight for equality must be fought on many fronts –- in the urban slums, in the sweat shops of the factories and fields. Our separate struggles are really one — a struggle for freedom, for dignity and for humanity.”

See more at Stanford’s King Encyclopedia.

RIP y QDEP: Ramón ‘Chunky’ Sanchez, pocho hero of San Diego

lalo_chunky_sanchezI was sad to hear that San Diego and Barrio Logan Chicano icon Ramón “Chunky” Sanchez passed away Friday at the age of 65.

Born in 1951 in Blythe, California, Chunky learned to play music from his family, and lived his childhood as a migrant farmworker. He left the farm he worked with his father soon after hearing the owner tell his dad that Chunky would make a great foreman when he was gone.

He decided to go to college, and eventually landed at San Diego State. Chunky and his brother Ricardo’s band Los Alacranes Mojados were a fixture when I was a MEChista at San Diego State; I can’t tell you how many events they played for us and for the entire movimiento.

Mas…RIP y QDEP: Ramón ‘Chunky’ Sanchez, pocho hero of San Diego

Alvaro Huerta, Ph.D: The day my Mexican father met Cesar Chavez

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Long live the farmworkers!

My late father, Salomón Chavez Huerta, first arrived in this country as an agricultural guest worker in the mid-1900s, during the Bracero Program. The Bracero Program represented a guest worker program between the United States and Mexico. From 1942 to 1964, the Mexican government exported an estimated 4.6 million Mexicans to meet this country’s labor shortage not only in the agricultural fields during two major wars (WWII and Korean War), but also in the railroad and mining sectors.

Like many braceros of his generation from rural Mexico, my father didn’t speak too much about the horrible working / housing conditions he endured while toiling in el norte. This included low pay, overcrowded housing, terrible food, limited legal rights, lack of freedom outside of the labor camps, racism, verbal / physical abuse and price gauging from company landlords / stores.

Mas…Alvaro Huerta, Ph.D: The day my Mexican father met Cesar Chavez

Pocho Ocho top reasons Child of the 60s The Donald is so Donald

trumpheadroomAfter POCHO’s Dennis Wilen AKA Comic Saenz finally came clean about his history with UPenn classmate Donald Trump, we’ve learned more about the events that turned a Child of the 60s into the bitter meng he is today.

Here are the Pocho Ocho Top Reasons Child of the 60s The Donald is so Donald:

8. Still heartbroken and resentful after the end of a passionate love affair with UPenn boyfriend, Afro-Mexican exchange student Mumia Abu-Fuentes.

7. Childhood backyard “fort” overrun by kids playing “Viet Cong.”

6. Kicked out of Wharton School MEChA for attempted “firing” of Cesar Chavez.

Mas…Pocho Ocho top reasons Child of the 60s The Donald is so Donald

BREAKING: Sean Penn set for Cesar Chavez keynote speech

seanpenn(PNS reporting from MALIBU) Sean Penn will deliver the keynote address at the City of San Jose’s annual Cesar Chavez Day celebration March 31, friends of the actor say. The ceremony honors the late Mexican-American icon and civil rights leader on his birthday.

Penn told dinner companions here Tuesday night that he plans to open the speech at the San Jose Civic Center with some humorous anecdotes.

Mas…BREAKING: Sean Penn set for Cesar Chavez keynote speech

Back from the dead and running for Congress, it’s Cesar Chavez!

newchavez(PNS reporting from TUCSON) Cesar Chavez — noted American farm worker, labor leader and civil rights activist — is back from the dead and running for the congressional seat being vacated by retiring Rep. Ed Pastor (D-AZ).

“I will do just about anything to win in Arizona’s heavily Hispanic 7th Congressional District,” Chavez said in a press release, “including rising from the grave if that’s what it takes.”

A Chavez spokesman said the newly-registered Democratic candidate (until recently a two-time Republican loser) had been “flooded with calls” and was no longer speaking to the press, but if he did decide to answer questions, he would not discuss how he came back from the dead or what the afterlife is like.

Mas…Back from the dead and running for Congress, it’s Cesar Chavez!

It’s Cesar Chavez’s birthday, and Google threw a Doodle party

Late Saturday night, as I searched for some historical images for a new history book I’m illustrating, I saw that Google had finally honored farm labor icon Cesar Chavez with their “Google Doodle.”

My first thought (and tweet) was, “Brace yourselves for anti-Mexican, anti-immigrant, anti-Cesar Chavez racist hate from internet Christians on their Holy Day.”  Faster than you could pull up a thousand images of the Mexican-American hero on Google Images, the harsh comments started rolling in.

As I called it, a few hateful internet Christians declared jihad on Google because it’s not a Jesus Christ Doodle or their main religious figure, the Easter Bunny (historical image below). 

Mas…It’s Cesar Chavez’s birthday, and Google threw a Doodle party

Ñewsweek: Obama speaks Spanish, Cesar y Hugo Chavez, angry Chicana

There he goes again, that esneaky Barack Obama appealing to voters in a foreign language! For real Americans (who only speak English), we’ve translated his latest commercial so you can understand exactly where this vato is coming from. Sorry, we said “vato.”

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, as both Cesar y Hugo Chavez made the headlines. The official National Monument to civil rights hero Cesar Chavez was dedicated in Kern County by El Presidente (POCHO Jefe-in-Chief Lalo Alcaraz was there with his family and a camera) and Iran-loving commie dictator Hugo Chavez got reelected and then endorsed Obama.

And in San Francisco’s Mission District, one angry Chicana was not at all happy with her vida loca and wrote all about it. These are the stories that broke the ñews this week on POCHO:

Mas…Ñewsweek: Obama speaks Spanish, Cesar y Hugo Chavez, angry Chicana

Obama dedicates César Chávez monument and we were there (photos)

President Barack Obama and I met up yesterday in Keene, a pueblito of a town in Kern County, CA. Obama was there to dedicate a monument to César Chávez and I was there to witness. See — that’s me with the President in the background!

After a groggy three-hour drive started at the crack of dawn, I stood in what seemed like a mile-long line along with several thousands of other UFW supporters and Obama backers in the dusty, windy Tehachapi morning.

We came to witness the President’s dedication of the 398th Federal National Monument, known as La Paz, and now the Cesar Chavez National Monument in Keene, built on the site of an old tuberculosis hospital in the Tehachapi Mountains. UFW co-founder and labor icon Chavez is buried on the grounds of his longtime HQ. It is idyllic, and a little dusty.

Dancers danced. Mariachis played. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis spoke, also Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Paul Chavez, son of Cesar. I took my family to make sure our three kids got to witness history and see the first African-American president in the flesh. Also historical!

Mas…Obama dedicates César Chávez monument and we were there (photos)

Unsung Heroes of Hispanic Heritage Month: Ray Moss

They were ordinary people living ordinary lives, until one singular sensation of circumstances conspired with fate to make them UNSUNG HEROES OF HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH

The effort to organize African-American, Filipino-American and Mexican-American farmworkers in California’s Central Valley was an uphill battle in 1964. Fledgling union leader Cesar Chavez thought organizing a boycott of a particular crop might make a good focus for his efforts and he settled on rutabagas, which were just coming into season.

Mas…Unsung Heroes of Hispanic Heritage Month: Ray Moss

Ñewsweek: Abuelita and the ticking baby clock, no cholo too loco

When a cholo goes bad, call The Cholo Whisperer

She needed help — a woman approaching 40 who wanted  kids but had no realistic baby daddy in sight.  Thankfully, she decided to write Dear Abuelita for advice, who gave her way more guidance than she was expecting.

And in a very special video about Cholo Rescue Services, the gentle strength of The Cholo Whisperer turns a misbehaving cholo loco into a warm companion everyone loves.

These were the stories breaking the ñews on POCHO this week:

Mas…Ñewsweek: Abuelita and the ticking baby clock, no cholo too loco

Students create gigantic portrait of Cesar Chavez from 5500 dominos

San Diego students used dominos to create a huge Cesar Chavez mural and installed it over the weekend in Chicano Park. NBC San Diego’s Gitzel Puente reports:

It took 5,500 domino pieces, 40 students and six weeks to create this piece of art. Students and staff from O’Farrell Community School started this mural using blueprints, and then they glued them to vinyl tiles [and]…dedicated this 10-foot mural to farm labor leader Cesar Chavez.

“About two months ago, we decided to do something for the community and what better thing to do than dedicate this to Cesar Chavez. We started telling the kids about it, letting them know what he did, his legacy and how he brought people together for a good cause,” says O’Farell’s Spanish instructor Jose Islas.

Puente uploaded a nice photo of the portrait to her Twitter account. We have it below:

Mas…Students create gigantic portrait of Cesar Chavez from 5500 dominos