Dolores Huerta: Helping Farm Workers Make Change

Dolores Huerta: Helping Farm Workers Make Change

Isabella Keller

Writers Workshop D

Imagine a world where farm workers are treated as slaves. Thanks to Dolores Huerta, that is not reality. As founder of Agricultural Workers Association and co-founder of National Farm Workers Association, Dolores Huerta is an important activist who has given better opportunities to many people. She helped people by changing the regulations involving farm workers wages and treatment. Dolores Huerta is a role model change maker because she has developed organization skills and leadership traits, she has transformed the way farm workers are treated, and continues the fight against discrimination.

Dolores Clara Feranández, also known as Dolores Huerta, was born on April 10th, 1930, in Dawson, New Mexico. She is the daughter of  Alicia Chavez, and Juan Feranández. She had two brothers. After her parents divorce, she moves with her mother and brothers to Stockton, California. Huerta’s grandfather, Herculano Chavez, help take care of Huerta and her brothers. He also helped serve as a role model to them.

Huerta’s parents both motivate her to transform the world. According to Huerta, her mother’s positive and progressive attitude, her perseverance, and self-determination, drove Huerta to become a feminist. Huerta continued to speak with her father, Juan Fernández, after her parents divorced. She was proud of him for climbing up the ladder, going from a coal miner to an activist to a representative in New Mexico state legislature and later a college graduate.

Huerta developed into a change maker over most of her early life. One situation she was involved in which motivated her to help was when her mother, Alicia Chavez, started her own hotel business. She would often cut the rate or disregard it to help other workers in the community. Huerta’s mother also promoted cultural diversity, which became normal in Huerta’s early life. While in school Huerta was an active student. Unfortunately she was once thought to have taken a peer’s work, since her teacher thought that she couldn’t have done that well, because of her race. Huerta was later given the award and apologized to. She also was motivated to fight against racism when her brother was brutally beaten for wearing a Zoot-Suit, which is a popular cultural outfit. She was a good student and was involved in various after school activities, clubs, was a drum majorette, and a member of the Girl Scouts until college.

Unlike many women of her time, Huerta went to University of Pacific’s Delta College, and earned a provisional teaching credential. However, she quit teaching early in her career, explaining: “I quit because I couldn’t stand seeing kids come to class hungry and needing shoes. I thought I could do more by organizing farm workers than by trying to teach their hungry children.”  This experience transformed Huerta, by pushing her to join Community Service Organization (CSO).she Huerta transformed the way farm workers were treated by forming a union. First, Huerta joined the Stockton chapter of the Community Service Organization (CSO) in 1955, which advocated for financial growth for Hispanics. Through CSO Huerta met Cesar Chavez. The farm workers weren’t paid well. The farm workers were sprayed with pesticides while working, this caused many of them to die of cancer. Even children were working on the farms.  In 1965 Huerta and Cesar Chavez, bringing striking Filipino-American farm workers and Mexican migrant workers in California’s southern central valley together to form the United Farm Workers. She worked to improve the rights farm workers were given by co-founding the UFW. She also helped organized many boycotts, such as the Delano Grape Boycott. The Delano Grape Strike lasted for five years, the boycotters didn’t buy table grapes, after losing a significant amount of revenue growers were forced to sign contracts with the union, or face bankruptcy.

By continuing the fight against discrimination, Huerta improves the world be spreading a positive, inclusive, and aware attitude. Huerta continues to raise awareness to the racial differences by explaining that people of color are expelled at a greater rate than white kids in what she calls a school-to-prison pipeline. She also advocates for women’s rights, immigrants,  marriage equality, and the environment. She preserves the freedoms of others by taking bold moves.

Dolores Huerta is a role model change maker because she transformed into a pioneer of civil rights, she has advocated for workers rights, and preserves to advocate for equality. Huerta’s major achievements include fighting for equality, founding the United Farm Workers, and preserving freedoms. Huerta is a role model change maker because she protects liberties to many people.

Works cited:

“Dolores Huerta.” Dolores Huerta Foundation. n/a. Word Press. February 27, 2018. <>

“Dolores Huerta Biography.”  The December 5, 2016. Publisher A&E Television Networks. February 27, 2018. < >

Michals, Debra. “Dolores Huerta.” National Women’s History Museum. National Women History Museum 2015,  February 27 2018, <>

The Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica. “Dolores Huerta” Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica, inc. March 5, 2018. <>

“Dolores Huerta” National Women’s Hall of Fame, National Women’s Hall of Fame, March 5, 2018. <>

Foreman, Holden. “Dolores Huerta talks education, social inequality and the new tax plan” Stanford Daily. January 12, 2018. Stanford University. March 5, 2018. < >

Kim, Inga. “The 1965-1970 Delano Grape Strike and Boycott”United Farm Workers, March 7. 2017. United Farm Workers. March 5, 2018. < >

“Dolores Huerta looks back at Delano Grape Strike on 50th anniversary” Hoy San Diego. September 15, 2015. The San Diego Union Tribune. March 5, 2018. <>

“DELANO GRAPE STRIKE AND BOYCOTT 1965” Records of Rights. National Archives. March 5, 2018. < >

Tenopia, Tia. “BIOGRAPHY – DOLORES HUERTA”Latinopedia. March 6, 2010. March 5, 2018. <>

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