César E. Chávez National Monument

United States of America

César E. Chávez was an American civil rights activist, labor leader, and one of the founders of the United Farm Workers (UFW), a union dedicated to improving the lives of farm workers in the United States. Born in Yuma, Arizona in 1927, Chávez moved with his family to California as the Great Depression took hold on the dwindling economic opportunities available to his family. In California, he worked as a migrant farm laborer, becoming acquainted with the hardships and indignities of farm labor that he would later devote his life to resolving. Gaining momentum in the 1960s, Chávez, along with workers rights activists including Dolores Huerta and Larry Itliong ignited a movement for workers rights. In the 1970s, Chávez moved his large family to the small town of Keene, California, which became the headquarters for the movement, living at what became known as Villa La Paz until his death in 1993. La Paz served as a place of peace and refuge as well as a central organizing location for Chávez, his family, and volunteers for the movement. Many members of the Chávez family continue to live at La Paz, and through the César Chávez Foundation manage the historic landscape and structures in partnership with the National Park Service. The site was designated a National Monument by President Barack Obama in 2012. Today, visitors can visit the former home and gravesite of César and Helen Chávez and learn about the history and legacy of the farm workers movement.

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