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Home National & State Parks Other NPs César Chávez National Monument in California Created, To Be Managed by National Park Service

César Chávez National Monument in California Created, To Be Managed by National Park Service

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The federal government has established the César E. Chávez National Monument at Nuestra Señora Reina de la Paz in Keene, California, Chávez' home and the headquarters of the United Farm Workers of America (UFW) since the early 1970s when Chávez was its president.

The National Park Service will manage the new national monument as the 398th unit of the National Park System in cooperation with the National Chávez Center.

cesar_chavez"César Chávez was one of the giants of the Civil Rights movement, leading a life rich with purpose and providing a voice for the powerless and oppressed," said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar on Oct. 8, 2012. "By designating La Paz as a national monument, future generations will have a place to learn about this extraordinary man and the farm labor movement that improved the lives of millions of workers."

In consultation with the UFW, the César Chávez Foundation and members of César Chávez' family, the Center donated properties at La Paz, including the Chávez home where Helen Chávez will continue to reside, the Memorial Garden where César Chávez is buried, and Visitor Center, to the federal government.

"César Chávez was one of the most influential Latino leaders of the twentieth century," said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. "The contributions he made are an important part of the American story and we are honored to be entrusted with the responsibility to preserve this place and share its history to inspire future generations. We are grateful for the support the National Park Foundation is providing to ensure that the Chávez monument is open for visitors from day one."

César E. Chávez National Monument is located at 29700 Woodford-Tehachapi Road in Keene, California, approximately 30 miles southeast of Bakersfield.

The site is open to the public daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, visit the César E. Chávez National Monument website at
www.nps.gov/cech.

Other buildings on the La Paz campus will continue to be operated by the United Farm Workers Union, the César Chávez Foundation and the National Chávez Center.

La Paz became headquarters to the United Farm Workers of America in the early 1970s when the UFW, under the leadership of Chávez, bought the former rock quarry and tuberculosis sanatorium.

From La Paz, Chávez and other leaders of the UFW orchestrated successes for hundreds of thousands of farmworkers, including passage of the first U.S. law that recognized farmworkers' collective bargaining rights.

The site soon became a tangible symbol of the union's growth and the crossroads of the farm worker movement, a place where thousands of workers came to learn how to operate their union, affect social change, and plan their strategies.

The American Latino Heritage Fund (ALHF) of the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America's national parks, has donated $150,000 to support the initial operations of the Chávez monument.

The ALHF supports the work of the National Park Service in preserving historic places that tell a more inclusive story of American Latinos' economic, civic and cultural contributions to the American experience.

Ruben Andrade, a native of California, has been named acting superintendent of the new monument. Andrade, currently superintendent of the NPS' Minuteman Missile National Historic Site in South Dakota, is the son of farm laborers and worked in the fields himself during school breaks.

"My family and I know firsthand the hard-fought accomplishments that are the legacy of César Chávez," said Andrade. "To now have the opportunity to lead this new national park established in his honor and to work with the National Chávez Center to tell the story of Chávez and the farmworker movement, is both humbling and exhilarating."

 
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