Civil Rights Activist Cesar Chavez to be Honored at Colorado State March 26-April 1

Beginning March 26, student groups at Colorado State University will collaborate with the Fort Collins community to host a weeklong celebration in honor of Cesar Chavez, a celebrated Mexican-American activist.

Chavez died in 1993 but his legacy is remembered with the annual celebration of his birthday on March 31 as a holiday in four U.S. states including Colorado. This year’s celebration, called "Educating the Heart," will feature entertainment and speakers to educate students and community members on the importance of civil rights activism.  

The kick-off event will be held from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday, March 27, in the Middle/West Ballroom of the Lory Student Center. Entertainment and free food will be provided, the Csar Chavez High School Awards will be presented and Luis Leon from the University of Denver will deliver a keynote address.  

On Monday, March 31, Houses on the Moon Theatre Company will

perform "De Novo Part 1: Lil’ Silent."  This true story focuses on a 14-year-old boy named Edgar Chocoy who fled his barrio in Guatemala City when MS-13 – the largest gang in Central America – threatened his life. He traveled more than 3,000 miles through the desert and across the borders of three countries in search of his mother, who had left him when he was 6 months old to work in the United States.

Detained by the Department of Homeland Security in Alamosa, Colo., Edgar, whose nickname was Lil’ Silent because of his timid demeanor, spoke clearly and loudly about his fear of being deported: "I’m afraid to go back. They’ll kill me." A pro bono Fort Collins immigration lawyer helped Edgar argue his asylum case in front of a federal judge in Denver, but the judge was not persuaded and ordered Edgar to be returned to his country. He was murdered 17 days later.

A list of events follows.

– Wednesday, March 26: noon-1 p.m.: Women at Noon – Poetry and Politics with Jennifer Pacheco; Room 228 Lory Student Center.

– Thursday, March 27: 6:30-8:30 p.m.: Cesar Chavez Kick-Off Event; Lory Student Center Middle/West Ballrooms. Spanish translation available on a limited basis.

– Friday, March 28: 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.: Honoring and Remembering Cesar Chavez; Sutherland Sculpture Garden.

– Monday, March 31: 10 a.m.-1 p.m.: Migrant Farm Workers and Community Support Members Sharing Stories; 114 Bristlecone.

7 p.m.: Houses on the Moon Theater Company presents "De Novo Part 1: Lil’ Silent"; Lory Student Center Theater. Spanish translation available on a limited basis.

– Tuesday, April 1: 10 a.m.: Workshop with De Novo cast members; Lory Student Center Theater.

Colorado State sponsors of the celebration are Apartment Life, Associated Students of Colorado State University, Campus Activities, CSU Bookstore, El Centro Student Services, Housing and Dining Services, Latino Greek Council, Lory Student Center Governing Board, Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity, Resources for Disabled Students and the Vice President for Student Affairs Parents Fund.

Fort Collins community sponsors are Anheuser Busch, CJPE, Consuelo’s Mexican Restaurant, CORE Center, Fort Collins Coloradoan, Fuerza Latina, Pepsi, Poudre School District, Poudre Valley Health Systems and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle.

For more information, visit, contact Rich Salas at, call Lance Wright at (970) 491-6921 or e-mail