Cesar Chavez, pictured at left with Colorado Chicano activist Corky Gonzales, visited Colorado several times. 

Denver Public Library Rocky Mountain News Collection

In the 1960s and 1970s, the nation's farm workers labored in harsh conditions for low wages. In California, activist Cesar Chavez launched a bid to unionize the workers.

The effort soon spread to Colorado, where a student named Ramon Del Castillo was drawn to the nonviolent nature of Chavez’s work and joined the cause. Del Castillo spearheaded a lettuce boycott at the University of Northern Colorado and rallied Coloradans to stop buying other agricultural products until farm working conditions improved.

He later pushed for state and local holidays in Chavez’s honor. Del Castillo, now chair of the Chicana/Chicano Studies Department at Metropolitan State University of Denver, joined us to talk about Chavez’s work in Colorado. He spoke with CPR's Andrea Dukakis.