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Biography of Dolores Clara Fernandez

            During the 60's there was a social and political shift within the Mexican and African American community. Many who take US History in high school or pay attention to the media, know more about the civil rights movement in the South than the United Farm Workers. While Cesar Chavez is more widely known than Dolores Huerta, Dolores started the Latino movement across the country. Born on April 10, 1930, Dolores Clara Fernandez, was born in Dawson, New Mexico. Her father Juan Fernández, was a farm worker and a union activist who ran for political office. He was elected into the New Mexico Legislature in 1938. As her parents divorced she moved to Stockton, California and spent most of her childhood and early adult life there. During Dolores' childhood her mother worked many jobs to support her family and Dolores' extracurricular activities. These activities included Girl Scouts, violin and dance lessons. .
             Dolores encountered racism as a child in her school. A teacher accused her of stealing based on her ethnicity and gave her a foul grade. She received an associate teaching degree from Delta Community College. During college she married and had two children. She soon divorced her first husband and later remarried to Ventura Huerta and raised five children. As Huerta became a Elementary school teacher she noticed her students came to class ill and malnourished. Many of these children had parents who were migrant workers. She soon resigned and decided to help organize the Stockton Community Service Organization also known as "CSO". The CSO helped improve social and economic situations for farm workers. Soon after in 1960 she founded Agricultural Workers Association or AWA. Dolores informed many politicians on allowing migrant workers, that do not have a US citizenship, to receive government assistance and creating Spanish-language voting ballots and driver's testsTwo years later she co-founded a workers union with Cesar Chavez.

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