Tribute to Graciela Martinez
We are all deeply saddened by the August 1st, 2020 death of our dear friend Graciela Martinez, and grateful for her life filled with love and service to others.
Graciela served on the board of Quaker Oaks Farm for many years until 2018, including acting as Board Chair from 2014-2016 and supporting our annual Spring Youth Camp on the land. She also lived at the farm, first at the Sanger House and then across the street in the Farmhouse. She loved the natural environment and, from her porch, watching nature in early mornings and hosting friends and neighbors in the evenings.
Graciela was born in Texas and moved to California as a child. Her family worked in the fields and she spent her life advocating for and supporting farmworkers. Over the course of her life, she worked with the American Friends Service Committee’s Farm Labor Committee, Proyecto Campesino, Cesear Chavez and the United Farmworkers, and Self Help Enterprises, which built homes for farmworker families.
Graciela was a fierce advocate for the most vulnerable among us, especially farmworkers, many of them undocumented immigrants. With great compassion and determination she strove to meet their immediate needs for survival while simultaneously working to change the systems that created such desperate conditions.
We are so grateful for Graciela and her years of service to Quaker Oaks Farm, her friendship, and her life dedicated to supporting farmworkers, immigrants and the poor here and throughout the Central Valley. We send love and condolences to her children and grandchildren, the lights of her life.