Hundreds celebrate legacy of Cesar Chavez at Las Vegas festival

Despite gusty winds Saturday morning, hundreds flocked to Reese Freedom Park to celebrate the legacy of Cesar Chavez, a Latino civil rights leader who worked to ensure farm workers were provided fair pay, water breaks and protection from harmful pesticides in the early 1960s.

Selena Torres founded the festival when she was 18 and studying Spanish at the College of Southern Nevada. She graduated from UNR in May with a degree in English literature and has directed the festival for four years.

“We realized that in our education system we don’t celebrate the life and legacy of Latinos here in our community,” said Torres, now 21. “The Cesar Chavez Day Festival was created because we realized there needed to exist a space … where we could celebrate the Chicano community; the idea of being Latino here in the United States.”

Volunteers wore red shirts with an illustration of a black, clenched fist on the front. Victor Gamiz, a 27-year-old Cesar Chavez Festival committee member, said the fist is borrowed from the Black Panther movement and represents solidarity.

“It represents resistance against any injustices,” Gamiz said. “A lot of Cesar Chavez’s ideals came from Martin Luther King, of nonviolence, of Mahatma Ghandi and Robert Kennedy.”

Gamiz said celebrating a civil rights movement the Hispanic Community can relate to is important to those ideals.

“We live in pretty interesting political times right now,” Gamiz said. “We want to reach the youth more than anything. We want the youth to be civically engaged and encourage the next generation of leaders to also be engaged in their community.”

Mireya Castro, 25, said she brought her four daughters to the festival so they could experience their culture. Before they went to the Cesar Chavez Day Las Vegas festival she explained to them the importance of celebrating the civil rights activist.

Castro’s daughters, 1, 3, 5 and 6 years old, danced around her, sporting brown, curly pony tails and matching pink shoes.

“I told them Cesar Chavez fought for our rights for our migrant workers, and my grandma was one,” said Castro, whose grandmother worked picking lettuce on farms in Arizona.

The youth dance group Mexico Vivo twirled in front of the stage in poodle skirts and high ponytails, dancing against a backdrop of classic cars and trucks to music from the 1950s. An 18-year-old singer who graduated from Las Vegas Academy belted out love songs in Spanish, his steady voice cutting through the gusty winds.

Event patron Jaime Garcia, 50, said the event served an important function but should have also celebrated Dolores Huerta, who was instrumental to Cesar Chavez’s movement and fought many of the movement’s legal battles.

“The intent of the initial movement was to unite people, to let them know they weren’t the only single person or single community dealing with an unfair justice system and an unfair working environment,” Garcia said.

“In uniting them, (Chavez and Huerta) were able to create a movement and improve the lives of everybody who did what campesinos did.”

Torres said her return from Reno after graduation was a reflection of her favorite Cesar Chavez quote: “The end of all education should surely be service to others.”

“It’s this idea that when we’re done, we have to go back to our roots, because that’s where we came from,” Torres said. “By the time Cesar Chavez started this movement, he wasn’t a farm worker anymore. He went back to the fields.”

Contact Kimber Laux at klaux@reviewjournal.com. Follow @lauxkimber on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Entertainment
New Brunch Spot The Stove Makes Unicorn Hot Chocolate And Bananas Foster Pancakes
New Brunch Spot The Stove Makes Unicorn Hot Chocolate And Bananas Foster Pancakes. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Octopus On The Las Vegas Strip Predicted The Winner Of The World Cup
The Octopus On The Las Vegas Strip Predicted The Winner Of The World Cup. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-journal)
TLC by the Numbers
Watch Ruthless! at Las Vegas Little Theatre
The musical Ruthless! will be playing at Las Vegas Little Theatre from July 13-29. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
How to feel like a kid again in Las Vegas
How to feel like a kid again in Las Vegas
People Lined Up For Over 5 Hours For Build-a-bear's "Pay Your Age" Promotion At Galleria Mall
People Lined Up For Over 5 Hours For Build-a-bear's "Pay Your Age" Promotion At Galleria Mall. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Cadaver art and sword swallowing at The Dark Arts Market
Curator Erin Emrie talks about her inspiration for The Dark Arts Market at Cornish Pasty Co. in Las Vegas Tuesday, July 10, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
What to expect at Station Casinos' Fourth of July celebration
Station Casinos' is hosting its annual 4th of July celebration with Fireworks by Grucci. Fireworks scheduled to go off on Wednesday, July 4 around 9 p.m. at Green Valley Ranch Resort, Red Rock Resort, Fiesta Rancho and Texas Station. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Pawn Stars' Richard Harrison honored at memorial service
A memorial service was conducted for Richard "Old Man" Harrison at Palm Mortuary in Las Vegas on Sunday, July 1, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Tourists and locals enjoy Independence Day fireworks at Caesars Palace
Hundreds of tourists and locals gaze at the Independence Day fireworks show at Caesars Palace on Saturday, June 30, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
5 must-see bands at Warped Tour 2018
Five must-see bands at Warped Tour 2018
This Banana Split In Las Vegas Is Made With Fire And Liquid Nitrogen Right At Your Table.
This Banana Split In Las Vegas Is Made With Fire And Liquid Nitrogen Right At Your Table. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pixar Pier At Disneyland Is Open With New Food And A New Roller Coaster
Pixar Pier At Disneyland Is Open With New Food And A New Roller Coaster (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Here's What It's Like To Ride The New Incredicoaster At Disneyland
Here's What It's Like To Ride The New Incredicoaster At Disneyland (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
"Pawn Stars" fans visit Richard Harrison's memorial at Gold & Silver Pawn
"Pawn Stars" fans from around the world visit the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas following the passing of Richard "Old Man" Harrison on Monday, June 25, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Get a sneak peek at Palace Station's newest renovations
Station Casinos spokesperson Lori Nelson gives a first look at what Palace Station's $192 million renovation will bring. Some areas will begin opening to the public next week according to Nelson. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
You Can Only Get The 11-pound 8-person Burger In Las Vegas
You Can Only Get The 11-pound 8-person Burger In Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Paul McCartney is worth over $1 billion
Sir Paul McCartney is one of the most celebrated and accomplished musicians in history. He just turned 76 on June 18. McCartney grew to international fame with the Beatles and went on to become a wildly successful solo musician. Paul McCartney’s net worth is estimated at $1.2 billion, according to Celebrity Net Worth. In 2017, McCartney landed the No. 13 spot on Forbes’ list of the world’s highest-paid musicians, earning $54 million for the year. On Thursday, June 20, McCartney will release a double A-side single featuring two new songs, "I Don't Know" and "Come On to Me." McCartney has yet to announce a title of his new album or when it will be released. Th album is expected to be released before he headlines the Austin City Limits Music fest in October.
Bellagio's New Conservatory Brings Italian Summer To Las Vegas
Bellagio's New Conservatory Brings Italian Summer To Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Kari Curletto of Las Vegas put over 500 hours into making her toilet paper wedding dress. (Courtesy Kari Curletto)
Kari Curletto of Las Vegas put over 500 hours into making her toilet paper wedding dress. (Courtesy Kari Curletto)
The Real Crepe In Las Vegas Serves Authentic Crepes In The Style Of Brittany, France
The Real Crepe In Las Vegas Serves Authentic Crepes In The Style Of Brittany, France. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-journal)
New Marilyn Musical Brings Screen Icons Life To Strip
Paris Las Vegas hosts musical bio featuring new, old tunes. (Carol Cling Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vegas' hottest concerts of the summer
Vegas' hottest concerts of the summer
We Taste-tested The Best Doughnut Shops In Las Vegas
We Taste-tested The Best Doughnut Shops In Las Vegas. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
5 must-see bands at Punk Rock Bowling 2018
5 must-see bands at Punk Rock Bowling 2018
Gabi Coffee & Bakery Is Like A Korean Speakeasy From The 1920s
Gabi Coffee & Bakery Is Like A Korean Speakeasy From The 1920s (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Five must-see acts at the Electric Daisy Carnival 2018
Five must-see acts at the Electric Daisy Carnival 2018
The "13 Reasons Why" mustang cruises down the Las Vegas Strip (Courtesy Netflix)
4 fun and fascinating museums in Las Vegas
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like