Sí, Se Puede

Daughter of the late Cesar Chavez, Sylvia Delgado of Hollister, at left, greets students at San Martin/Gwinn School March 29, with nephew Anthony Chavez, in celebration of the day honoring the civil rights leader. Delgado's grandson attends the school.

The nearly 700 students and staff at San Martin/Gwinn K-8 school got some surprise visitors at their annual school-wide celebration of Cesar Chavez Day, a couple days early on March 29. The school walkways and recess playground were decorated with the red and black flags of the United Farmworkers, founded by Chavez 57 years ago

For these San Martin students, the day was about family.

Claudia Olaciregui, principal of the dual-language Spanish/English school in San Martin, stood in front of a large photo of Chavez and his movement’s slogan, “Si, Se Puede!” (Yes, We Can!) and introduced Chavez’ daughter Sylvia Delgado, granddaughter Monica, and grandson Anthony Chavez. Monica’s husband, Jose Anaya, is a teacher at Gwinn, and their son—the legendary civil rights leader’s great-grandson—is a student at the school.

After musical serenades, the cheering youngsters heard a stirring speech from Anthony Chavez, who spoke of the inspiration of his grandfather, and his commitment to justice and nonviolence. Cesar Chavez Day, March 31, became a federal commemorative holiday and California state holiday in 2014. Cesar Chavez died in 1993.