Keep Me in the Loop!

Aristeo Oropeza was alongside Cesar Chavez during the historic 1966 march

We learned with sadness of the passing on May 29 of Aristeo Oropeza, 83, a native of Mexico who came to work in the fields around Delano, Calif. in 1964, and joined the farm worker movement alongside Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta in 1966. In March of that year, he was one of the original farm workers who began the historic peregrinacion (or pilgrimage) from Delano to the state Capitol in Sacramento. Aristeo was the uncle of United Farm Workers Vice President Erika Navarrete.

Aristeo was born in 1941, in the city of Tagancicuro, Michoacan, Mexico. He immigrated to the United States at age 21 alongside his father and worked as a coal miner in Texas before migrating to California, where he labored in agriculture. He made his home in Wilmington, Calif. where he started a family with his wife, Petra Oropeza. They eventually had five sons, two daughters, 23 grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.

Aristeo Oropeza fought cancer for 10 years. He lost his wife to COVID in 2021. Aristeo died a few days before what would have been his 84th birthday.

Visitation is set for Tuesday, June 11, 2024, from 4 to 8 p.m. at All Souls Mortuary, 4400 Cherry Ave., Long Beach, Calif. 90807.