César Chavez supporters walk in his honor

Event sponsored by LULAC includes singing along the new river trail.
San Benito county LULAC council founder Mickie Luna told of how her family and the Chavez family worked for farm laborer rights. Photo by John Chadwell.
San Benito High School student Noah Hidalgo said he came out of respect for Chavez. Photo by John Chadwell.
The group marched and sang as they walked in Cesar Chavez' honor. Photo by John Chadwell.
Diego Ochoa, Hollister School District superintendent along with three of his children, took part in the walkathon. Photo by John Chadwell.
Granddaughters Christine Chavez-Delgado (L) and Teresa Chavez-Delgado came to honor him during the Walk a mile in his shoes event. Photo by John Chadwell.

Family and friends of César Chavez (1927-1993), along with those who never knew him, showed their respect for the civil rights leader and founder of the United Farm Workers in a walkathon in his honor on April 25 in Hollister.

The mile-long walk began at Apricot Park in Hollister and proceeded along the new portion of the River Park Trail to the San Juan Road bridge, where the group of about 15 people sang songs before returning to the park.

The event, called “Walk a Mile in His Shoes,” was sponsored by San Benito County League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) council, Collegiate Council #3084 and LULAC Youth #705.

Mickie Luna, former Hollister council member and founder of San Benito County’s LULAC council, said the Chavez and Luna families have known one another since they marched through Hollister in support of farm laborers. She said her uncle José Luna worked closely with Chavez.

“César never forgot this community and came here often,” Luna said, adding that in 1974 the city would not allow him to march in the streets. “So, he decided there’s always the sidewalks. Nobody imagined how many people were going to come to Hollister and walk.”

Prior to the march Luna told the group the event was in memory of Chavez teaching the people how to march.

“We need to keep it going because there are young people coming along and we need to do it,” she said. “Some of us will be taking a step back because we’ve been here a long time, but we can train our young people as we move forward.”

Chavez’s granddaughter Christine Chavez-Delgado thanked Luna and her family for keeping her grandfather’s and the farmworkers’ legacies alive.

“And thank you LULAC for everything they have done to ensure not just the rights of farmworkers, but all workers are being respected,” she said, “and everything they do for the youth. I know every year they take students out to the headquarters of the UFW to give them a history lesson.”

Interim Hollister Police Chief Carlos Reynoso and several officers from the police department also participated in the walkathon.


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John Chadwell

John Chadwell is a BenitoLink reporter and an author. He has many years' experience as a freelance photojournalist, copywriter, ghostwriter, scriptwriter, and novelist. He is a former U.S. Navy Combat Photojournalist and is an award-winning writer who has worked for magazine, newspapers, radio and television. He has a BA in Journalism and Mass Communications from Chapman University and underwent graduate studies at USC Cinema School. John has worked as a script doctor and his own script, God's Club, was released as a motion picture in 2016. He has also written eight novels, ranging from science fiction to true crime, which are sold on Amazon. To contact John Chadwell, send an email to: [email protected]