Cesar Chavez's grandson screens film in Idaho
Eduardo Chavez doesn’t have any direct memories of his grandfather, Cesar.
The elder Chavez is the civil rights leader and labor movement activist who co-founded the union now called United Farm Workers in the 1960s.
Growing up, Eduardo was constantly reminded of the importance of his grandfather – passing street signs bearing his name or getting school off on March 31, officially Cesar Chavez Day in the U.S. since 2014.
But, he felt disconnected from his grandfather’s story, and even his father’s. He said he grew up comfortably in San Francisco.
So, Eduardo made a documentary “Hailing Cesar” as a personal attempt to connect with the legacy of his grandfather.
He’s screened it at more than 50 universities, including at Boise State University this week, where a student spoke up about growing up in Idaho agriculture.
“He worked in the fields as a farmworker every day, pretty much, until he was 18, and he was just finishing up his engineering degree at Boise State,” he said.
That’s very different from Eduardo’s own story, he acknowledged.
“But, we do share the same history because we’re both Mexican Americans, and the history of my grandfather is both very deeply entrenched in us.”
It’s also ingrained in Herbert Romero. In his work helping Latinos in Blaine County with housing or mental health access, he mimics one of Chavez’s approaches by going to them.
“Spending time with them in their communities, in their homes, is something I do a lot,” he said.
With the Hispanic Latin America Consortium and The Crisis Hotline, Romero brought Eduardo to the Wood River Valley for the 3rd annual local Chavez Day celebration. Last year, Dolores Huerta, a fellow farm labor rights leader alongside Chavez, came to the valley.
Eduardo is sharing his film at five local schools and at the Blaine County Community Campus in Hailey on Friday, March 31 at 6 p.m.
Find reporter Rachel Cohen on Twitter @racheld_cohen
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