Urging our nation's leaders to end hunger

Remembering César Chávez

Cesar Chavez “I undertook the fast because my heart was filled with grief and pain for the sufferings of farm workers. The fast was first for me and then for all of us in the union. It was a fast for nonviolence and a call to sacrifice.”—César Chávez, March 10, 1968

César Chávez was the president and founder of the United Farm Workers Union and persists as the iconic hero of Latinos in the United States. I knew him when I was a boy and later as a college student. He was already a legend and my hero when I served as his driver/companion for a week in 1988.

César fasted several times in his life—not just to call attention to suffering, but also to do penance and atone for his own failings and to show trust in God. I fasted for one day in 1988 when other students at Texas State took turns fasting to be in solidarity with César.

Today, I am fasting (day four) as a way to live out my faith and show my trust in God, whom I believe can and will end hunger in the world. Like César, I believe God will cure my heart and touch the hearts of others so that together we can call our nation to care for hungry and poor people.

Today is César Chávez Day in communities throughout the United States, and I am proud to pay homage to my hero by continuing my fast along with thousands of Bread for the World members and others. (visit Bread’s website to learn more).

Long before President Obama made these words popular, César taught us to proclaim, Sí se puede—yes, we can. And so I say to you, Sí se puede—with God’s help, we can end hunger.

Marco Grimaldo is a regional organizer at Bread for the World.

Photo courtesy UFW website.


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Thanks, Marco, for your inspiring words and your commitment not only to the legacy of Cesar Chavez but the important work of fighting for the hungry. My thoughts and prayers are with you and for those who will not have their share of food today.

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