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¡Si se puede! Annual march honors civil rights activist César Chávez

The César Chávez Day Parade near the NHCC.

The César Chávez Day Parade near the NHCC.

César Chávez is remembered for his civil rights activism and co-founding the National Farm Workers Association.

Annually, the Duke City has honored the leader with a march and celebration.

This year’s event will take place at the National Hispanic Cultural Center on Saturday, March 26.

Danny Hernandez, one of the coordinators for the event, says the March for Justice is a 2.1-mile loop around Barelas, which then ends up at the NHCC.

“This is to commemorate what César Chávez and Dolores Huerta have done,” he says. “We invite the whole community to participate in this. There are plenty of organizations that participate, and it’s all about having a voice.”

After the march, the family fiesta at the NHCC includes poetry, dancing, community awards and exhibits, children’s activities, food, a keynote speech by Carlos Marentes, and live music by Las Cafeteras.

Marentes has dedicated his life to improving the lives of farmworkers in New Mexico and Texas, creating the organization Sin Fronteras in 1989 and subsequently opening the Border Farm Workers Center in El Paso.

Las Cafeteras, immigrant children from the streets of Los Angeles, came together in 2008 to document the histories of their neighborhoods through music.

The group fuses the Afro-Caribbean roots and vibrant energy of son jarocho with an edgy East Los Angeles alternative sound and a community-based political message, creating a new urban folk sound and telling the stories of everyday people who are looking for love and fighting for justice.

“Carlos has done a lot for the farmworkers on the border,” Hernandez says. “He’s an influential person when it comes to fighting for labor rights.”

The event is free.

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