Writing: ‘Never Stop’ by Adrian Santana

This piece placed third for high school submissions in the Ánimo Voices Competition, which invited students to write about innovators, upstanders, visionaries, or rebels that have made a difference in their local or broader communities. The competition was an opportunity to motivate, recognize, and celebrate our strong student voices through writing and art.

Adrian Santana

by Adrian Santana
Ánimo Jackie Robinson Charter High School

Never Stop

He was born in Yuma, Arizona.


As a teenager he worked in the fields

For long hours with little time for meals.

Poor working conditions and added stress

Left his life a mess.


His eyes are closed.


Growing up, he witnessed the unjust workplace

That farmers were left to face. While yielding a hoe

The day went slow. Rain or shine they were expected

To grind.


His eyes are at a squint.


With ambitions to change la pisca

He decided to create a union.

One that would take flight.

The feeling was right.


His eyes are opened.


Many strikes with not a finger on a grape

Farmers were tired of the treatment like apes.

Threat of deportation left them

With no motivation.


His eyes are full of dejection.


The fight didn’t stop.

Change was made

And sacrifice was paid.

Grapes are now picked

By the hand of a working man.

A man who is now respected

Who enjoys the conditions as expected.


His eyes belong to Cesar Chavez.

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