early life Born on April 10, 1930, in the mining town of Dawson, New Mexico, Huerta was the daughter of Juan Fernandez—a miner, field/farm worker, union activist, and state assemblyman—and Alicia Chavez. Huerta was the couple's second child and only daughter; the couple divorced when Huerta was three years old. Chavez raised Huerta and her two brothers, in the central California farm worker community ofStockton, California. Huerta's mother was known for her kindness and compassion towards others and was active in community affairs, numerous civic organizations, and the church. She encouraged the cultural diversity that was a natural part of Huerta's upbringing in Stockton. Alicia Chavez was a businesswoman who owned a restaurant and a 70-room hotel where she welcomed low-wage workers and farm worker families for affordable prices and sometimes even for free. This prompted Huerta to think about civil rightsHuerta's community activism began when she was a student in Stockton High School. Huerta was active in numerous school clubs and was a majorette and a dedicated member of the Girl Scouts until the age of 18. Huerta attended college at the University of the Pacific's Stockton College (later to become , where she earned a provisional teaching credential.After teaching grammar school, Huerta left her job and began her lifelong crusade to correct economic injustice:[
"I couldn't tolerate seeing kids come to class hungry and needing shoes. I thought I could do more by organizing farm workers than by trying to teach their hungry children."