Cesar Chavez Honored at Breakfast Celebration

March 24, 2017

By Ana Gomez Salcido

More than 900 people gathered to celebrate the birthday of the late American labor leader and civil rights activist Cesar Chavez at the Las Mañanitas Breakfast held at the San Diego Convention Center on Friday, March 24.

The celebration started with the sound of La Rondalla Amerindia while the attendees were arriving. The attendees included school parents, union members, non-profit organizations, public officials, and business and educational leaders.

“Las Mañanitas is our annual fundraising event for our Cesar Chavez clubs. It’s all about the legacy of Cesar Chavez,” said Linda LeGerrette, Chavez Service Club Executive Director. “My husband Carlos, and I, cofounded the clubs in 2001, were we teach the ten values that Cesar Chavez embodied such as respect, non-violence, knowledge of power, sacrifice, creativity, and how to help others. We take these values and work with children, most of them are San Diego Unified School District students from fourth grade onward.”

The Cesar Chavez club’s goal is to inspire children to make a difference. And the Chavistas were in charge of running Friday’s event.

As it does every year, Las Mañanitas program began with mariachi music. And this year, Mariachi Juvenil was in charge of playing “La Negra” which was Cesar Chavez favorite song, before the Pledge of Allegiance. Later, a six-minute video about the Cesar Chavez clubs was played for the attendees to know more about this non-profit organization.

Luis Valdez was the breakfast special honoree this year. Valdez is the founder of Chicano Theater, author of “Zoot Suit” and founder and artistic director of El Teatro Campesino. He convinced Cesar Chavez that theater could be an effective way to communicate to farmworkers. And recruited farm workers to perform in short acts that dramatized the issues farmworkers faced in 1965. As part of the eighth annual celebration of the Las Mañanitas Breakfast, Teatro Izcalli performed an abbreviated act from Luis Valdez stage play “Los Vendidos”. Afterward, Valdez addressed the audience at Las Mañanitas as the honoree, before the event ended around 9 a.m.

“People always leave our events feeling inspired,” LeGerrette added. “We do this event every year for fundraising. We need it to run our community events and social work. Each year, we do 25,000 hours of community service with our clubs, like cleaning canyons, cleaning out graffiti, and helping elderly people. Is important to give back to the community. We want to teach the children about political, social, and economic justice.”

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