For the eleventh year, hundreds will march through southwest Denver in honor of César Chávez.
Photo: El Semanario
By Toni Frésquez
“I believe in the mission of the César Chávez Peace and Justice Committee of Denver and the spirit of the people who coordinate this event every year. The event and the committee keep in line with Chávez’ social justice ideals and the work he did during his lifetime. This is a way of life, not just an event,” stated Charlene Barrientos Ortíz, a co-founder of the César Chávez Peace and Justice Committee, and also serves as the Program Committee Chair.
César Chávez instilled courage and vision across the nation, and in 2002 committed individuals created the first official Denver celebration honoring the late leader. In 2001, former Colorado State Rep.’s Frana Mace and Rob Hernández sponsored a bill to create a State holiday, and former Denver District 3 City Councilwoman Ramona Martínez initiated a City holiday recognizing Chávez and his accomplishments in the fields.
This year’s event will be held this Saturday, March 31, beginning at 8am with a mass at St. Cajetan’s Church (299 So. Raleigh, Denver 80219) and the traditional marcha at 9:30am, heading to the Denver Indian Center (4407 Morrison Road, Denver, 80219 for the day’s celebration and community awards reception beginning at 11am.
The guiding light for Denver’s celebration, are the members of the César Chávez Peace and Justice Committee (CCPJC), who have dedicated endless hours in preparing for the much anticipated event. The theme for this year’s celebration is "Healing Wounded Spirits.” The CCPJC are also in support of the petition to make César Chávez a national holiday, spearheaded by the United Farm Workers who will be celebrating their 50th anniversary this year.
CCPJC co-founder, Dr. Ramón Del Castillo shared his thoughts behind his personal drive and ambition in helping to create one of the state’s most beloved celebrations. “My passion for human and civil
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