I didn't know the Cesar Chavez story until I moved to California four and a half years ago. Mexican American history isn't taught where I grew up in the Midwest. Mi abuela, Jesusita Salinas de Gonzalez, she was a migrant field worker as a young woman, and her father built the railway system between Northern Mexico and Texas. After mi bisabuelo finished the railroad work, part of the retirement package included a train ticket to the United States. He brought his family up through El Paso to Corpus Cristi, Texas, where my grandmother was born. Now in her late 80s it has been great to still be able to connect to my past through conversations about the history of our family and their struggle to make it in America.
I am a product of their struggle. I am the American dream.