Cesar E. Chavez National Monument in Keene

Cesar Chavez National Monument is an area dedicated to one of the most influential Latino leaders in the United States during the last century. Mr. Chavez was responsible for bringing awareness to the plight of farm workers and leading to the first agricultural union. This small area in the city of Keene, run by the NPS, protects some of the sights that were most important for that movement, as well as the graves of both Cesar Chavez and his wife. Here is all the information so you can visit as well.

Details

  • Free
  • Hours: Daily 10 AM – 4 PM
  • Location: 29700 Woodford-Tehachapi Rd, Keene, CA 93531

Getting There

Heading east from Bakersfield on Highway 58, the national monument is about 30 miles from the city center. You will see signs and can get off on exit 139. You will then follow the signs to the monument, parking is free in the lot.

The Monument

The central part of the monument is the museum and grave sites next to where you parked.

After getting out, I would recommend heading to the museum first.

While it is not that big, it has a lot of photos from the most crucial parts of the movement.

It also has a small shack designed to look like what farm workers would have lived in.

In the back, there is a replica of Mr. Chavez office, and it has audio that plays and highlights different parts of the room.

I didn’t know a lot about this part of history, so I found it interesting to read about the key points and ideas.

There is also a small shop that you can get souveniers at.

Heading out from here, you will want to walk past the fountain to the memorial area. This is where Cesar and his wife are buried.

There is also a memorial fountain etched behind the grave sites as well.

Lastly, there is a desert garden you can visit and walk through.

From here I would recommend driving down to the back of the monument. You will pass the headquarters for the union which is on the property to this day.

In the back, there is the building which is now an office, but which used to house the meetings.

Behind the building, there are two specific spots of interest, the peace pole and the mountain.

Both of these spots are areas where he used to come to meditate, and you can walk between them both now.

It took me 45 minutes to visit the monument, and I enjoyed learning more about the person and the movement. Check it out if you happen to be in the area and let me know what you think in the comments.

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