Via Carta Mural Project | Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo CA
“The Hunger to Be” draws inspiration from the words of learn-by-doing creator John Dewey. The title calls back to the power of small steps in creating meaningful change.
The mural begins at the center with portraits of farmworker movement leaders. Larry Itliong smiles in front of a bright yellow sun. His words, “Follow Me, I’ll be in front” sparkle in gold overhead. To his left, Dolores Huerta calls the people to action wearing the Huelga bird stitched to her poncho. At the front, Cesar Chavez locks arms between Corretta Scott King and his community organizing mentor Fred Ross. Protests gather behind the group with signs that read Welga and calls to boycott lettuce and grapes.
At the left, Maria Moreno, the first woman farmworker and migrant worker to be hired as an organizer, speaks before a multicultural table of farmworkers. Dismissed for organizing “too many” strikes even before the Delano Grape Strike, Moreno’s legacy as an impactful speaker in a primarily male space, is symbolized by the map of 1966 Farmworker March. The group at the table represents the Mexican, Filipino and poor white migrant workers who were once divided in the fields. In the mural they dine together at the Delano Filipino Community Hall, united by a shared mission for better pay and better work conditions.
The Tigmamanukan bird, a Filipino omen bird, flutters between the fields. Her trail starts from beyond the United States borders and flits between the fields of workers, young and old, offering sure direction and hope.
On the right panel, the Tigmamanukan soars into the sky trailing a quote by Maria Moreno, “The road is our home. The ground is our table. Any place we go, that is home.”
The CalPoly campus is nestled between sloping hills and greenery. At the front, students join the workers. They tend to the crops together, becoming part of a movement to make the world a better place.
The Statue of Liberty looms in the background symbolizing the immigrants who come to the U.S. in search of opportunity, and the change they cause to make life better for all.