The Peregrinacion: Walking Into History
September 1965 witnessed the beginning of the historic five-year strike by Latino and Filipino vineyard workers. But it was a 350-mile peregrinacion or pilgrimage from
the following March and April that thrust La Causa, the cause of striking farm workers, squarely before the nation’s conscience.
The day after a U.S. Senate subcommittee hearing in
on the strike attended by Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, who embraced the strikers’ cause, a small group of marchers set off on the long trek up the great
. Their goal: taking their grievances before
’s Governor and Legislature.
During the march, one of the struck companies, Schenley Industries, succumbing to a boycott, negotiated the first genuine contract between a grower and a farm workers union in American history. The marchers, led by the banner of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patron saint of
, were met at the State Capitol on Easter Sunday 1966 by 10,000 supporters.
“There is something about a march that is very powerful,” Cesar Chavez observed. “You’re moving, making progress every step. It’s peaceable work. Then there’s the sense of personal sacrifice. The march also generated the spirit which was translated to the boycotters and into boycott action.”
Much was to follow: Four more years of strikes and boycotts, and finally, victory. But during those long, hard days of taking one step after another, little did the marchers know they were walking into history.
To celebrate and commemorate the Peregrinacion, the
created and hosted a beautiful photographic exhibit of this remarkable event in American history.
And now for the first time, the Peregrinacion exhibit is available for rental as a traveling exhibit. If you are interested in hosting this exhibit or have any questions, please contact Bernadette Farinas at 661-823-6134 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Click the photo below for more photos.