Juan Gonzales works for the city of Glendale now, but when he was a child he and his family followed the harvest in California, picking lemons, oranges, peaches, grapes, plums and cucumbers.
“I remember when I was a young boy the movement going through the fields,” Gonzales said Saturday, recalling when advocates for the United Farm Workers of America walked among the crops to convince laborers to stand up against harsh work conditions.
Gonzales spoke as he took in Glendale's 10th annual celebration of Cesar Chavez, the founder of the UFW whose efforts led to improved conditions for field hands who faced low wages, dangerous conditions and the threat of violence if they organized.
More than 200 people came out to Pacific Community Center in South Glendale Saturday afternoon for food, performances, activities for children and a talk by Amy Navarrete, the president of the Glendale Latino Assn. who marched with the UFW more than 30 years ago.