this area was home to many farm workers when san jose was still heavily defined by agriculture. “our lady of guadalupe church” located close to the brt line at 2020 e. san antonio street is a catholic parish heavily engaged in issues of social justice. it was here that cesar chavez – who lived in the neighborhood at 53 scharff avenue from 1948 to 1962- was introduced by father donald mcdonnell to other labor activists, and consequently started his work as community organizer. many members of this community played an active role in the early farm workers movement, which continues to be a source of pride and identification to this day.
the pattern at this shelter references this history with a landscape drawing taken from the 1967 letterhead of the united farm workers’ movement. the landscape drawing is expanded and overlaid by a design composed from the traditional plaid pattern of farmworkers’ garments. fruit and crops are inserted into the pattern in the field, and in “fruit crates” on the pavement. farmworkers hats enliven the ceiling and are a nod to the church hat pattern at the westbound shelter.
information provided by the garza family and jaime alvarado