Learn more about LUPE, its close ties with the UFW and the Farmworker Movement in Ep. 2 of Our History series. If you're having trouble viewing the video, click here.
Note: Transcript can be found at the end of this blog post
From her beginnings in a small farming community tending cattle and raising crops to leading the premier Mexican American civil rights organization of the Rio Grande Valley, Juanita’s history is also the history of how the Valley’s marginalized and discarded took their fate into their own hands and joined together to fight for a free and thriving RGV.
In this series, we will trace Juanita and LUPE's history from the farm labor revolts of the 1960s to the far-reaching civil rights laws of the 1980s, all the way to the battles for just immigration laws today. Make sure to follow us on TikTok to be the first to know when new episodes debut.
EPISODE 2 TRANSCRIPT:
The Melon Strike of NINETEEN SIXTY SIX in Starr County set the stage for the Farmworkers Movement in the Rio Grande Valley. The spontaneous strike caught the attention of UFW organizers, who brought the union to Texas.
The farmworker uprising inspired colonia residents–many of them farmworkers–to organize for better living conditions. Juanita's family and neighbors joined with Colonias del Valle Inc. to organize and build a water supply system for her colonia.
Meanwhile, farmworkers slowly built their power in Texas with strikes, marches, lawsuits and electoral campaigns. Until finally, in the 1980s, Texas farm workers won a cascade of victories, including drinking water, restrooms, higher wages and pesticide controls.
Invigorated from witnessing change in her community, Juanita would join the UFW as a community organizer under the leadership of Rebecca Flores. Her duties included organizing families from low-income and rural areas, to raising awareness of the new legal rights farm workers won. This decision by Juanita set the stage for the transformation of the Texas UFW into what it is today, La Unión Del Pueblo Entero. Learn what prompted Juanita to found LUPE in Part three.