Syndic No. 1
Syndic Literary Journal

Troubadour: Francisco “Pancho” Garcia

Troubadour: Francisco “Pancho” Garcia

Francisco "Pancho" Garcia 2005 / Photo by Terry Scott

 

Play: “Despedida de Cesar Chavez” 

(Credits: Music & Lyrics by Francisco “Pancho” Garcia/ Produced by Sand Flea Studios for “Songs of the Farmworker Movement”)

READ LYRICS: Despedida de Cesar Chavez

 

More About Sr. Francisco (Pancho) Garcia

by Abby Flores Rivera

 “In the early ‘70s it was my good fortune to hear Sr. Garcia play and sing his music for the first time. It was not at a movement march or rally but at private weekend backyard get-togethers in Delano with current and former union staff. i.e. Helen Chavez, Petra Ovalle, Carmen Serda, Esther Uranday, and Linda Chavez to name a few. As we waited for the slow roasting chicken to cook he would entertain us with old traditional Mexican ballads, corridos, and movement songs. The wonderful music lasted into the night; the sweet melodies becoming an extension of Sr. Garcia’s gentle personality and large heart. Today, listening to his music, it is not only a pleasure to think back on those fond memories of times shared with dear friends, but to learn that the history of the farm worker movement has been preserved in song by someone who was witness to the events of the time. Sr. Garcia’s admiration and loyalty to Cesar Chavez and his farm worker movement is evident in his original compositions.

Sr, Francisco (Pancho) Garcia was a lettuce farm worker who walked out on strike in 1970 from D’Arrigo Farms in Salinas. A short time later he volunteered for assignment to New York City when a national boycott of lettuce was declared by the UFW. One year later he returned to La Paz, the union headquarters in Keene, California, where he worked for the Construction Department. He was reassigned to the Forty Acres in Delano, the former home base of the union, as part of the construction crew that built the Agbayani Village, retirement housing for Filipino union members. In 1973, the union once again found itself in a major strike when the grape contracts expired in Delano. Pancho returned to the fields to organize workers. The strike picket lines were eventually called-off because of the violence against farm workers. Pancho settled in Delano alternately working there and at La Paz until he retired in 1983. He has continuously remained a tireless supporter of the UFW.”

 

More Songs by Francisco Garcia

 

 

 

 Author/Artist Bios

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