May072013

Cesar Chavez National Monument

East of Bakersfield, Highway 58 climbs 4,000 ft. over the Tehachapi Mountains. Eight miles before Tehachapi Pass is a town called Keene at about 2,600 feet in elevation. Well, there is not actually a town as far as I saw. The population is 481 residents spread among the foothills of the Tehachapi Mountains. 

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The main attraction in Keene is the Cesar Chavez National Memorial.

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Cesar Chavez grave site March 31, 1927 – April 23, 1993.

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La Paz is the name of this site where the United Farm Workers – UFW established its national headquarters in 1971.

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Cesar Chavez and his family made La Paz their home and the grounds were used to train and educate farm workers to organize unions, campaigns and boycotts.

President Obama proclaimed the National Chavez Center to be a National Monument on October 8, 2012.

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Cesar Chavez Visitor Center is still a work in progress. The visitor center has numerous photos and the office of Cesar Chavez.

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Office of Cesar Chavez.

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Cesar Chavez.

I made a whirlwind tour of the Cesar Chavez National Monument in the 15 minutes before the park closed. Hours are 10am-4pm every day.

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UFW Grape Boycott.

In the past 20 years the acreage of California vineyards has grown significantly. There is an area of southern Monterey County with several square miles of grapes that I wanted to photograph today, but I could not stop my car on Highway 101 in that location.

May is a major harvesting month in the fields of California and I have seen thousands of fieldworkers across California in the past week harvesting strawberries and artichokes and working the fruit orchards and vineyards.

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It is my deepest belief that only by giving our lives do we find life – Cesar Chavez.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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