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8th Annual Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta Awards

Lidia Harding
Blog Events Latino HEAT

On Friday, March 30 Latino H.E.A.T. students were excited to welcome the community at their 8th annual Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta Awards and celebration event. For the past eight years the YES leadership group, based our of Sammamish High School, celebrates Cesar Chavez’s birthday by dedicating the day to service, education and celebration in honor of Chavez’s commitment to social justice and respect for human dignity.

The program started with a casual viewing of the movie “Viva La Causa” while guests enjoyed esquites, a Mexican corn treat, and papitas. Attendees then enjoyed learning about the the physical strain and the working conditions of migrant workers directly from a now retired worker, Rafael Mendoza. Afterwards, Esperanza Borboa, from Eastside Legal Assistance Program told her story of working with protesters in Eastern Washington, and with Dolores Huerta in fighting, and succeeding, to change the conditions for workers in Yakima. She called on the youth in the audience to pay attention to politics, to get involved, and to lead causes that call for improvements for minorities.

The presentation ended with honoring of members in the community with Cesar Chavez awards:

“Cesar Chavez” Living Legacy Community Advocate Award: Rainier Athletes
Honoring Cesar Chavez’  principles of leadership, service to others, preference to help those in need, acceptance of all people & promoting a steadfast commitment in the pursuit of knowledge, equity & celebration of community

“Cesar Chavez” Determination Award: Amairani Fabian Dominguez
Honoring Cesar Chavez’ core values of determination, sacrifice, preference to help those in need, steadfast commitment in the pursuit of knowledge & empowerment of self & others

“Cesar Chavez” Living Legacy Youth Award: Felix Mercado Flores
Honoring Cesar Chavez’ core values of leadership, respect for life & the environment, the pursuit of knowledge, service to others, sacrifice & determination

“Cesar Chavez” Living Legacy Youth Award: Alin Leyva
Honoring Cesar Chavez’ core values of leadership, celebration of community, preference to help the most needy, determination, sacrifice & a steadfast commitment in the pursuit of knowledge

“Cesar Chavez” Living Legacy Volunteer Award: Daniel Vargas
Honoring Cesar Chavez’ core values of sacrifice, determination, service to others & for sharing joyous expressions of creativity & innovation to celebrate & help the community

“SI SE PUEDE” Dolores Huerta  Social Justice & Leadership Award: Catherine Cruz
Honoring Dolores Huerta’s lessons of leadership, determined & empowered commitment to equity, social justice, community, families, children & activism

“Cesar Chavez” & “Dolores Huerta” Celebration Volunteer Award:  Tessa Cooke
Honoring Cesar Chavez & Dolores Huertas’ legacy & lessons of non-violence, service to others, celebration of community  & for inspiring pursuit of knowledge, for a just & equitable society

Thank you to all those that attended and helped YES and Latino H.E.A.T celebrate.

The day after the event on Saturday, March 31, Governor Jay Inslee recognized the importance of Cesar Chavez’ work by signing a bill to make March 31, Cesar Chavez Day. Inslee said that the bill recognizes more than just Chavez’s hard work. It keeps the memory alive of the man who continues to inspire millions of farm workers in the country and in Yakima. Read more about it at

Visit our Facebook page to view more photos from the event.

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