San Martin Gwinn first witnessed the march by Mr. Anaya’s class in the year 2013

By Daniel Saucedo

Daniel Saucedo

Cesar Chavez Day: Here's What's Closed Today & Wednesday | LAistWe are never going to forget the movement for a better life that Cesar Chavez, along with other valiant characters, had begun. It’s important to honor their acts through various referencing tributes. This includes when Jose Anaya’s kindergarten class from San Martin Gwinn Environmental Academy in the Morgan Hill Unified School District recreated a march of their own.

This inspired the Home and School Club to hold the Sí Se Puede Week.

To recapitulate, Mr. Anaya’s replicate march was presented by his young class of 2013 imitating the famous one Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta led in May 1972: If you didn’t know already, the original Si Se Puede movement was formed by the United Farm Workers union (UFW), founded by the two well-known historical figures, Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta, with hopes to let the public lawmakers know the mistreatment of farm workers. Although it took much perseverance and many sacrifices in the period of almost three decades, Chavez, Huerta and their union won the dignity, respect, fair wages and many more rights for the Latino farm workers.

Anyways, San Martin Gwinn first witnessed the march by Mr. Anaya’s class in the year 2013, after he had arrived at the school as a teacher. It was brought into perspective when he was talking to his kindergarteners about heroes.

“I told them, heroes can be other people besides your mom or your dad. You can be a hero, too.” Mr. Anaya said. “We wanted to give the students a voice to carry positive messages and for them to see that they can make a difference.”

This brought Cesar Chavez into the picture, a perfect example of a positive hero. So a march was planned to fulfill the teacher’s wish. “It began as a simple, humble march around the playground,” he said.

On the third annual march, it caught the attention of other teachers and staff. Mr. Anaya explained: “We decided to open it up in the third year to other teachers and classes.”

The United Farm Workers march to the California state capitol – People's World

Photo courtesy People’s World

In spring 2019, S.M.G also had brought special characters such as musicians involved with El Teatro Campesino, Noah Montoya and descendants of Chavez. This included his daughter, Sylvia Delgado, and her nephew, Anthony Chavez, who spoke about the justice and nonviolence that his grandfather pursued and influenced

Despite various years of these positive experiences, as we all know, the pandemic came along and ended the tradition for a couple of years.

Anyways, these seven days of “Sí Puede Week” are not meant to merely honor and give tribute to the UFW’s acts, they furthermore inspire other children. The student body of San Martin Gwinn, along with teachers and staff, are participating in this special week in the following manner.

On Thursday, March 21, students provided community service and other charitable work at San Martin Gwinn after all instruction time is over. Following this, Friday March 22, teachers, parents and staff decorated the school’s doors describing how well their students are doing in their class time.

With the next academic week, on Monday March 25, the middle school students at San Martin Gwinn will compete in a sign decorating contest that will represent or share their own capabilities as people. Next, on Tuesday March 26, artwork representing any accomplishments achieved — especially when the odds were against said person or thing —  will be shared.

Afterward, Wednesday March 27 will have a treat for the students. They will hold a honoring assembly to “Sí Se Puede.” This assembly will include acts such as the traditional Folklorico performances from the students themselves.

On the second to last day of this special week, Thursday March 27, they are going to recreate the inspirational march that motivated us to start the Sí Se Puede Week with the school. This is the 2013 walk that Mr. Anaya led at first as a “humble march around the play structure.”

Finally, Friday March 28, teachers with Ms. Santiago are going to be decorating the classroom doors with the popular statement, “Sí Se Puede.”

It is very important to learn about and honor the efforts of Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta and their team of the UFW. They helped many farmworkers today who can now receive equal rights. Their work demonstrates anybody can do anything even if the odds stand against them. Everybody should be treated fairly, even across ethnicities.

I encourage students as well as adults to learn about the farm labor movement because it impacts us every day. We depend on our farmworkers to provide each one of us with nutritious fruits and vegetables. I believe these workers deserve not only the same rights and benefits as anyone else but the recognition for the hard work it takes to get the produce from the farms to our kitchens.

Living in the South Valley, we are lucky to see agriculture in action. This is why I believe it is even more important for us to honor the farmworkers. Without the intentions of these great people, our world would be way different from how it is today.

Daniel N. Saucedo is a sixth grade student at San Martin/Gwinn Environmental Academy.