Students celebrate César Chávez Day through volunteering

Karen Ambrocio, Managing Editor

César Chávez was an American civil rights activist who formed the United Farm Workers Union and helped farm workers gain fair working conditions and wages.


The university celebrates Chávez’s legacy with a week long of events and an annual César Chávez Day of Service. Chávez’s birthday, on March 31, coincided with the Day of Service.


“The event was established to honor the life and legacy of civil rights activist César Chávez. Chávez’s life story, his activism and the civic values that he stood for speak directly to the mission and values of CSU San Marcos,” said Civic Learning Coordinator, Catalina Langen.


Students, faculty, staff and community members participated in the Day of Service. Approximately 270 participated topping the 190 participants from last year’s Day of Service.


Participants were sent to different volunteer sites, two on-campus sites and seven off-campus sites, including, Dragon Organics, Seed to Preschool Farm and The Escondido Creek Conservancy. The volunteer sites ranged from gardening to landscape restoration.


There were 11 different sites compared to last year’s Day of Service which had eight sites.


Afterwards, students arrived to the USU Ballroom to hear a guest speaker, reflect on their experience and take a group photo next to the Chávez statue, The guest speaker, a CSUSM alumni Consuelo Martinez, spoke to students about the importance of volunteering and César Chávez Day.


The event was organized by representatives from the USU, Student Life & Leadership, the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and the Division of Community Engagement.  


The Day of Service will continue next year.


“Chávez valued service, integrity, innovation and dignity for all life. These values are pillars of what it means to be both a student and an active, civic-minded member of the community (locally, regionally, and globally),” said Langen.

The Cougar Chronicle The independent student news site of California