Wednesday, March 29, 2023


RV Short Stops: Hispanic Heritage across America

Detail of Hispanic Heritage mural (Photo by David Valdez)

Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15) is an amazing opportunity for traveling RV families to learn about the cultures and contributions of Hispanic and Latino American champions. The national observation of Hispanic Heritage began in 1968 when President Lyndon Johnson signed the national Hispanic Heritage Week bill. Two decades later, President Ronald Reagan expanded the observation to cover 30 days.

By researching the National Archives, families can read about Hispanic achievements and discover where to visit Hispanic culture sites in America. For events featuring Hispanic Heritage across America, click here. For additional American Latino heritage stories, click here.

Two popular historic places for RVing snowbirds and families are the César E. Chávez National Monument in central California, and the Tumacacori National Historic Park south of Tucson, Arizona.

César E. Chávez National Monument

César E. Chávez, American labor leader and civil rights activist.

Key labor leaders in 20th century Hispanic Heritage are César E. Chávez, Dolores Huerta and Larry Itliong. Along with support from millions of Americans, they led the farm worker movement. They went on to join “forces with other reform movements to achieve unprecedented successes that greatly improved working and living conditions and wages for farm workers.”

In 2012, the National Park Service designated the César E. Chávez National Monument, near Bakersfield, Calif. The free monument is the previous home and workplace of the Chávez family and farmworker-movement organizations.

The main building includes photo exhibits and features Cesar’s carefully preserved library and office. Chávez and his wife, Helen, are buried in the garden. Currently a “work in progress,” more exhibits, educational programs and services are coming. For additional information on Chávez and his life, contact the National Chavez Foundation.

For snowbirds traveling along CA Hwy 58, click here for overnight RV Parking in Tehachapi. If you are not traveling near Bakersfield anytime soon, check out the Chávez monument’s virtual tours.

Tumacacori National Historic Park

Tour of Tumacacori mission (Julianne G. Crane)

Tumacacori National Historic Park, between Tucson and Nogales, interprets the mission system history in southern Arizona. From 1691, Catholic priests lived and preached among local Pima and Papago settlements of the Pimeria Alta. After these communities “endured disease, inconsistent government support, ambivalent converts, and Apache raids” the site was abandoned in 1848. Read an RV Short Stops post about visiting Tumacacori by clicking here.

Currently, because of COVID-19, visitors to all national monuments, regardless of vaccination status, must wear a mask inside all federal buildings.

Writer’s Note: RV Short Stops continues to highlight places that can be safely experienced from the road or in an outdoor public space. So, if you know of unique COVID-safe places, please let us know so we can feature them.

Julianne G. Crane
Read more of Julianne’s RV Short Stops posts here.
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