For acting Wasco State Prison (WSP) Correctional Counselor II Eduardo Zamora, Cesar Chavez Day is not just a state and national holiday. For him, the day honoring Chavez’s impact on labor and civil rights has personal meaning.
Cesar Chavez Day was proclaimed a California state holiday in 2000. It has been a commemorative federal holiday since 2014. The March 31 recognition day honors the birth and legacy of Cesar Chavez, an American farmworker, labor leader, civil rights activist, husband, and father of eight.
Chavez co-founded the United Farm Workers (UFW) Union, responsible for significant advancements for workers’ rights in the American agricultural system. Chavez’s leadership has inspired generations of workers.
“I recognize and acknowledge his sacrifices which allows my family and I the opportunities we have today,” says Zamora.
Counselor Zamora began his career with CDCR in 2008 as a Correctional Officer at North Kern State Prison (NKSP). After working as an officer at NKSP, California Correctional Institution (CCI), and WSP, he promoted to Correctional Counselor I at WSP in 2015. In 2019, he completed a temporary assignment at the Delano Modified Community Correctional Facility and then returned to WSP. Zamora has been an acting Correctional Counselor II Supervisor since November 2022.
“CDCR means opportunity,” reports Zamora. “CDCR provides the opportunity for one to grow and further themselves. I’ve had the opportunity to work with some great people at multiple institutions.”
What does Cesar Chavez Day mean to you?
For a Mexican-American born and raised in Delano, Cesar Chavez Day means a great deal to me. The holiday that highlights Mr. Chavez showcases an iconic leader in the Central Valley. In 1966, The Forty Acres was established in Delano. It became the first headquarters for the UFW.
The UFW have a special place in my life. My grandparents and numerous other family members worked in the grape vineyards alongside Chavez and hundreds of other hard-working Central Valley residents trying to provide a better opportunity for their families.
Chavez preached knowledge and education, two traits that were passed down by my grandparents. Without the efforts of Chavez and other like-minded individuals, California would not be what it is today.
What are your proudest career moments with CDCR?
I have had many special moments during my career. Besides promoting to Correctional Counselor, for example, I take pride in being a certified Youth Offender Program Counselor and educating youth offenders on the programs available for positive programming. I completed an out-of-class assignment as a Correctional Counselor II specialist for the Alternate Custody Program, which provides opportunities to the incarcerated population releasing back into the community
What has been your biggest inspiration?
The biggest inspirations are my family, my daughter. My wife and I were blessed with our little girl five years ago. My life perspectives and priorities changed instantly.
Counselor Zamora loves to give back to his community:
- He loves to volunteer in his daughter’s pre-school class.
- Zamora sponsors children during the annual WSP Christmas adopt-a-child event. The community event provides Christmas gifts to children.
- He enjoys being part of the annual Thanksgiving food drive and basket delivery in the Wasco community.
- He serves as Director for the Delano Chamber of Commerce.