Born in Mexico in 1941, Marcos immigrated to the US at age 13. He worked for a Texas rancher, but was deported to Mexico penniless. In his twenties, Marcos returned to the US with the hope of revenge, spending years working the migrant trail.
Revenge soon turned to advocacy when Marcos met Cesar Chavez, who spoke of union and non-violence. In 1965, under Chavez’ guidance, Marcos led a strike against the George Lucas grape farms in California. He then traveled to Boston to organize a boycott there. In Boston, he spoke of peaceful protest and farm workers’ rights to audiences at prestigious universities. He organized rallies and engaged churches, labor unions and community organizations.
Later, Chavez sent Marcos to Chicago to organize the second grape boycott. It was during this time that Marcos met Chuy Garcia, a student at UIC. In 1975, Marcos made Chicago his home, settling in Little Village. It wasn’t long before he began organizing block clubs to create unity in Little Village. He is still committed to this model of unity and continues to selflessly serve the residents of Little Village with grace and love.
Marcos is vice president of the community board of the Dr. Jorge Prieto Family Health Center where he is committed to meeting the needs of the medically underserved and uninsured. Marcos’ life inspires all of us at Enlace to labor for justice and unity for our communities.
For more about Marcos' history as a community activist, click here.
To hear Marcos' oral history, click here.