It is with genuine sadness that the United Farm Workers announces the passing of Dolores Velasco, who dedicated her life to the UFW and for decades kept alive the memories of her beloved husband, Filipino UFW leader Pete Velasco, and all the heroic Filipino grape strikers who helped create the first enduring farm worker union in U.S. history.
Dolores and Pete Velasco married in the 1970s while they were both dedicating their lives to the farm workers’ cause. After Pete passed away in 1995, Dolores was a fixture at the National Chavez Center at Keene, quietly performing a variety of important labors behind the scenes. Her mission was telling the story of the valiant struggle by Pete and the other Filipino union members—called Manongs—who began the Delano grape strike in 1965 and were joined by the mostly Latino farm workers led by Cesar Chavez during the five-year Delano strike and grape boycott.
A more detailed tribute honoring Dolores Velasco will soon follow.
Dolores Velasco speaking in 2014 during the 40th anniversary of the Paulo Agbayani Retirement Village on the Forty Acres outside Delano.