HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — When Barack Obama was running for president, he used the slogan “Yes we can.”
A legendary civil rights activist who coined the Spanish version of that phrase, “Sí se puede” is now being honored in a Houston exhibit.
Some students from Pearland High School got the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to check out the Smithsonian exhibit with Dolores Huerta herself.
At age 89, Huerta’s life is enough to fill several textbooks. From young woman, to activist to Medal of Freedom honoree, her lifelong fight for the rights of farm workers has earned her countless recognition.
“I watched the documentary about her life, but it felt even better seeing that she was explaining everything and the pictures, I got actual insight,” Pearland High School student Elijah Crowder said.
The traveling Smithsonian exhibit chronicling her journey is now at Houston’s Holocaust Museum.
“The main thing I think this exhibit does show is that people can come together – they can be poor, working people but they can actually make a difference not only in their own lives, but also in their community,” Dolores Huerta explained.
Guests can learn about what life was like for farm workers back in the 1950’s, and how Huerta played a key role in the fight for labor rights, founding the United Farmworkers Union with Cesar Chavez, organizing a worldwide boycott of grapes that then led to better wages and better work environments.
“One thing I’m going to hold on to is that even if you get beat physically or mentally, you still communicate and push through,” Pearland High School student Juan Carlos Martinez Jr. said.
“Like she said, we have the power. She told us we have the power and it makes me feel like we do and that we should go out and do something and help the community,” Pearland High School student Bryan Estrada Rosado said.
You can check out the exhibit through February.