In July 2016, Southern California's first Youth Heritage Summit (YHS) brought the state's high school students to Cesar E. Chavez National Monument to share an important story in our nation’s history. The YHS program was designed by the National Park Service with the goal that students who attend would aspire to build careers in fields such as heritage conservation, architecture, archaeology, history, and comparable other fields of study.

YHS California students at Agbayani Village in Delano

YHS California students at Agbayani Village in Delano

This year’s Youth Heritage Summit had three central themes that shaped student experiences:

more than a union:

Recognizing the United Farm Workers of America as more than just a union, and exploring the different facets of community involvement including how the arts were practiced, how careers were formed, and how Cesar E. Chavez led a movement.

does it still apply?:

Helping students to understand that the experiences of those fighting for rights during the Farm Worker Movement are still very much relevant today. In many ways their issues are our issues, and their experiences permeate both in California and beyond its borders.

Why here?:

Building an understanding and appreciation for the site known as ‘La Paz,’ where Cesar lived and led the United Farm Workers (UFW) in Keene, and other important locations in the region which came to set a stage for the Farm Worker Movement.


Students had the option of participating in one of three projects throughout the course of their four­-day YHS experience:


This group of students worked with the National Park Service (NPS) to do 'takeovers' of the NPS National Historic Landmark Instagram account, and the Department of the Interior Snapchat account! Through these experiences they learned how social media can be used to raise awareness for important stories and spur social change.



This group of students worked with a representative from Historypin to use their digital mapping software to create an overlay map of several sites affiliated with Cesar Chavez and the Farmworker Movement (La Paz, the Forty Acres, Radio Campesino, Sunset Labor Camp.) Students documented these sites and wrote descriptions of why these places have value, and then learned how to pin them into a map using Historypin'splatform in order to help initiate a mapping of these sites. You can see their final product here!


graphic design:

This group of students worked with an artist from Boyle Height's Self Help Graphics to learn the art of printmaking and how it helped to spread the message of the United Farm Workers rapidly during the Farm Worker Movement. Students in this group designed imagery based upon their own experiences at the summit and printed their design to present to panelists at the closing Town Hall ceremony.


About the Team:

Youth Heritage Summit California is a collaborative project between the National Park Service, the Cesar E. Chavez Foundation, and We Are the Next. We Are the Next, working on behalf of all project partners, developed, coordinated, and implemented the Youth Heritage Summit California program at Cesar E. Chavez National Monument.