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North County colleges mark César Chávez Day with service

Tania Thorne
Cal State San Marcos volunteers complete projects at Community Roots Farm in Oceanside, March 31, 2022.

Most schools were closed Thursday in honor of César Chávez Day, but, instead of sleeping in, some students at Cal State San Marcos chose to spend the day giving back to their community.

More than 200 volunteers showed up bright and early for a day of service in honor of Chávez.

They included Marcelo Garzo Montalvo, an ethnic studies professor at Cal State San Marcos.


“We're here to get our hands in the soil today and do some on-the-ground work,” he said.

North County colleges mark César Chávez Day with service

He joined volunteers at one of the seven service sites, including the Agua Hedionda Lagoon, San Pasqual Academy, the Boys and Girls Club in Vista, and Community Roots Farm in Oceanside.

Volunteers helped with different projects — whatever was needed at each site.

This is the ninth year that Cal State San Marcos and Mira Costa Community College have celebrated César Chávez Day with service.


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But this was the first event where volunteers have been able to work on-site since the pandemic started.

Montalvo said he was grateful that community members had showed up to honor Chávez's legacy by giving back, but added that the day also served as a reminder of the fight that continues.

“I hope that today also inspires us to connect to the current struggle in the fields,” he said. ”We still have a lot of exploitation and problems that are happening in our food system. So I hope today’s also a reminder that, every time we eat food, we have to give thanks to a farmworker.”