After a number of months of arduous work, two Marshalltown Excessive College (MHS) juniors certified for the Nationwide Historical past Day (NHD) nationwide competitors with their undertaking “La Huelga: The Battle That Introduced Farmworkers Rights.”
Yessenia Alvarez Zamora and Leticia Herrera, two Prolonged Studying Program (XLP) college students, introduced their undertaking throughout the in-person NHD state competitors on the Iowa Occasions Heart in Des Moines on April 25. On account of their efficiency, they are going to be presenting their undertaking on the nationwide competitors, which will probably be held nearly from June 12-16.
The 2022 NHD theme was “Debate and Diplomacy,” and Alvarez Zamora and Herrera’s undertaking centered across the Delano Grape Strike in California in 1965. Alvarez Zamora mentioned she had completed analysis on the topic beforehand, and he or she felt it will match the NHD theme nicely. Herrera agreed.
“I assumed it will be very becoming for the theme, just because it was a extremely lengthy arduous strategy of debate and turmoil between communities and between leaders of each ends,” Alvarez Zamora mentioned.
The 2 juniors started researching the subject and crafting their presentation close to the start of the semester, and after making it by means of the digital regional competitors, they went on to state. Herrera mentioned they “didn’t suppose a lot” concerning the state competitors, solely hoping to get an award of their class, which was agriculture and labor.
“We didn’t actually have excessive hopes. I do know that it’s barely a downer, however we didn’t actually suppose we might get this far,” Herrera mentioned.
Whereas their expectations might have been low, they had been nonetheless glad to be there to see all the opposite initiatives from college students across the state, and regardless of their preliminary expectations, they ended up coming in first place.
“There have been so many truly nice initiatives, and we loved studying concerning the matters by simply glancing at them,” Alvarez Zamora mentioned. “We weren’t anticipating to win in any respect, however we did put loads of effort into it. So we had been nonetheless hopeful and really blissful once we did get it.”
Now they’re working to shine up their undertaking earlier than turning it in, in search of higher sources and taking full benefit of the chance they’ve been supplied. They’re each excited to study from their fellow contestants and from their expertise this 12 months to, hopefully, have the ability to take part once more subsequent 12 months and have the identical and even higher outcomes.
“Nationals is absolutely huge. If we made it in, I do know that there’s a bunch of initiatives which can be wonderful. It might be higher than us. It might be equal to us. They might be about our degree, who is aware of? However I simply, I’m ecstatic about going to nationals. I imply it’s wonderful. we didn’t suppose that we might get this far and now we made it this far,” Herrera mentioned.
The Delano Grape Strike holds some significance to Alvarez Zamora and Herrera because it largely affected immigrant agricultural employees, and the 2 needed to boost consciousness of the struggles they endured.
The employees went on strike to be able to obtain greater pay and higher therapy, and Alvarez Zamora mentioned with out the debates and struggles that these people went by means of, enchancment would by no means have been doable.
“My father, he really labored in California with the grapes, not throughout the time (of the strike), however he labored there, and even then he didn’t have one of the best of rights. Even in any case of this, he didn’t actually have one of the best of rights,” Herrera mentioned. “I didn’t even learn about it, and my father barely knew something about it. So if we really put this to gentle, it may trigger some kind of influence.”
Alvarez Zamora felt it was actually as much as the youthful generations to proceed enhancing agricultural employees’ rights, and he or she felt going to nationals and presenting was a step in the fitting path.
“This was a really huge and impactful occasion in historical past, and I believe that entire course of has completed what it could. And now it’s simply form of as much as the newer generations to point out proof to agricultural labor forces, to the world, ‘That is what occurred and that is how we have to proceed to repair it,’” she mentioned. “Circumstances are nonetheless not supreme for agricultural employees, however I believe it’s vital that we discuss how far we’ve come and push on for extra sooner or later.”
Contact Susanna Meyer at 641-753-6611 or firstname.lastname@example.org.