Helena Fabela Chavez

Acrylic on canvas

Helena Fabela Chavez
1927 – 1993

When Cesar Chavez starting recruiting members into the union, his wife, Helena went to work back in the fields along with raising their 8 children.

She actively sought to reach the workers for her husband’s cause, and in doing so even braved arrest. She challenged employers who disregarded new state regulations that allowed union organizers to meet with farm workers to discuss the union, and distribute information about its benefits.

Along with outreach, Chavez taught a program to help Mexican farm workers gain literacy in order to be eligible for taking the American citizenship exam. Working side by side with her husband, she challenged the role of women in the activist movement and provided a template for other Latinas to join the union efforts.

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Additional information

Dimensions 24 × 30 in



24" x 30"