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EDITOR'S NOTE: Following is a column written in 1985 by César Chávez for Hispanic Link on the 20th anniversary of the UFW. We are posting this in honor of the film 'César Chávez' which will be released on March 28.

Photo by Héctor Ericksen-Mendoza, 1985


By César Chávez

Some things change and some things never do.

It’s been 20 years since our United Farm Workers first touched the hearts and consciences of people across America by letting them know about the abuses suffered by California farm workers and their families.

Then the farm workers dramatically transformed the simple act of refusing to buy fresh grapes into a powerful statement against unfairness and injustice. The grape boycott was a hallmark of the 1960's and ‘70’s. It rallied millions of Americans to the cause of migrant farm workers. And it worked!

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César Chávez: A Movie About a Cause and a Legend

By Katharine A. Díaz

Labor leader César E. Chávez passed away in 1993 after a life's work of fighting for farmworkers' rights. Not only is César Chávez Day commemorated in several states and the César E. Chávez National Monument stands in his honor, now there comes a film about this legendary activist, Cesar Chavez, scheduled to hit movie screens on March 28.

Directed by Diego Luna, actor (Y tu mama también and Milk), director and producer (The Well), the movie stars Michael Peña (Walkout and American Hustle) in the leading role as Chávez; America Ferrera (Real Women Have Curves, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and TV's Ugly Betty) as Helen Chávez, the leader's wife; and Rosario Dawson (Alexander, Rent and Men in Black II) as Dolores Huerta, who co-founded the United Farm Workers union (UFW).

Filmmakers focused on crucial periods of his life during the 1960's that included the Delano march, the grape boycott, his first hunger strike and the coming to the bargaining table with landowners. Peña brings those moments to life with a sensitive portrayal of the labor leader that allows us to feel the personal sacrifices he made in his life. Peña shows us that Chávez had a quiet resolve and respect for all, even the bad-guy growers.

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In Immigration News

Talk of Immigration Reform Fuels Spike in Fraud Cases

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. —Cecilia, an undocumented Mexican immigrant, never anticipated that her life in the United States would turn into a real-world telenovela, the popular Spanish language dramas.

A few years ago she married a U.S. citizen who soon started to mistreat her. He later filed for divorce without telling her, but then the couple reconciled and got remarried. Then he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Before he died, he told his wife that he wanted to help her regularize her immigration status.

That’s when Cecilia, who declined to give her real name, decided to seek out legal advice from an acquaintance. The individual charged her $2,500 but never filed her immigration case. Today she is still undocumented.

Scams on the rise

Cecilia, who works as a janitor in the Bay Area, is one of a growing number of immigrants taken in by those who promise to regularize their immigration status for a fee – and then don’t deliver.

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In International News

Chicano DNA in Color and Black and White

By José de la Isla, Hispanic Link News Service

MEXICO CITY – I am talking with Patssi Valdez over a coffee at Café Delirio, on Álvaro Obregon Avenue. She is here this week giving a workshop at the University Museum of Contemporary Art.[1]  She ponders a question raised by a Mexican student.

What has become of the Chicano Art Movement? she is asked. Why is she, as an artist, not guided by it still?

 The student, like others in the workshop, follows trends, movements, knows the history and significance of the protests and how art responded to those social events. But he wants to know, why is it flagging now? 

Click here to read the entire story...

In Hispanic Health News

Hispanics Overcoming Barriers to Elders' End-of-Life Care

Alianza Metropolitan News/New America Media , News Feature, Gerardo Fernandez , Posted: Oct 29, 2013

SAN JOSE, Calif.--Maria Lacayo's mother was diagnosed with dementia 13 years ago, and soon after with Alzheimer's. Since then, Maria has taken care of her Mom nonstop, every day, at their home in San Mateo. Seven years ago, her caregiving demands intensified after her mother suffered a stroke. 

More than once, physicians warned that Lacayo’s mother might be living her last days. Regardless, of that, Maria never thought about sending her mother to a nursing home, assisted living facility or a hospice. After the stroke, doctors said she would live only for three months. 

“She is in a wheelchair, and I take care of her 100 percent. She cannot do absolutely anything, not even eat, or take her pills,” said Lacayo, who came from Nicaragua 22 years ago to the United States.

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