HISD historical namesakes celebrated at annual Chávez-Huerta Symposium

Chávez High School staff and students celebrated their school’s namesake with their annual Chávez-Huerta Symposium on Saturday, March 25. The Symposium, a combination of multiple events organized in honor of César Chávez and Dolores Huerta, was held in person this year for the first time since its inception in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chávez-Huerta Day is observed annually to commemorate the legacies of the founders of the United Farm Workers of America who fought for protections and improved conditions for agricultural workers. Both Chávez and Huerta were awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for their activism.

Ambitious participants began the day with a 5k fun run at 6:30 a.m., followed by a parade starting at Patterson Elementary and ending at the Chávez football field. There, a Matachines dance troupe from St. Paul’s Episcopal Church kicked off the opening ceremony with a traditional dance performance. Guests were welcomed to the Symposium with remarks from Chávez Principal Marlen Martinez, High School Assistant Superintendent Dr. Geovanny Ponce, and Isidro Garza of the League of United Latin American Citizens.

Following the ceremony, attendees enjoyed performances by dance troupes and bands from Chávez, Sam Houston, Northside, and Stevenson High Schools, Patrick Henry Middle School, and Patterson, Crespo, Bonner, and De Zavala Elementary Schools. School Mariachi bands played, and dancers performed both ballet folklórico dances and Western line dances in celebration of the Mexican-American and Southwestern heritage of Chávez and Huerta.

Many community participants joined in the fun at the LoboFest Carnival following the performances where they could peruse booths manned by local vendors and enjoy food, games, a car show, and more.

César Chávez passed away in 1993, and Dolores Huerta is 92 years old and living in New Mexico. Their legacies continue to inspire HISD students and foster in them an instinct to participate proactively in their community.

In observance of Chávez-Huerta Day, all HISD schools and offices will be closed on March 31, 2023.