Publications About PCUN

The University of Oregon’s PCUN Digital Collection “consists of correspondence, newsletters, publications, photographs, newspaper clippings, audio recordings, and other documents that provide a view of the history of the largest labor union and Latino organization in the State of Oregon.” The PCUN records are available in both English and Spanish through this link.

“The Story of PCUN and the Farmworker Movement in Oregon”, co-authored by U. of O. Professor Lynn Stephen, was originally published in 2001. It was the first history of PCUN ever published.

The revised 2012 edition, published by the UO’s Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies, is a 57-page online publication that highlights the history of PCUN (Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste, or Northwest Treeplanters and Farmworkers United) within the context of Oregon and U.S. history. The Oregon farmworker movement began with the U.S. Bracero Program in the 1940s, and led to settled Mexican communities in Willamette Valley towns including Woodburn, St. Paul, Independence and Gervais.


The CAPACES Network

CAPACES is a movement-building collaborative that was formed in 2003 fostering relationships, cross-training, plus more shared sense of vision and scale. The ten CAPACES network organizations have combined staff totaling sixty. They include: PCUN, Farmworker Housing Development Corporation (FHDC), Voz Hispana Causa Chavista, Mujeres Luchadoras Progresistas, Mano a Mano Family Center, CAUSA, Salem Keizer Coalition for Equality, Latinos Unidos Siempore, Oregon’s Farmworker Ministry, and the newest addition the CAPACES Leadership Institute (CLI). The network is run by the CLI.


Words of Cipriano Ferrel

Cipriano Ferrel was a co-founder of PCUN and was PCUN President from 1988 to 1992 and from April 1995 until his death. He also co-founded FHDC in 1991. Cipriano dedicated his entire life to the cause of unionizing famworkers as the only effective means to permanently improve the living and working conditions in farm labor and to give a voice to workers in their workplaces.


PCUN-University of Oregon Partnership

“The PCUN-UO Partnership” was established on June 6th, 2011 and celebrated the donation of the historic papers of Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (Northwest Treeplanters and Farmworkers United) to the UO Libraries’ Special Collections and University Archives, which preserves, organizes, and makes the papers available for research projects conducted by students, faculty, and others.


Creation of Radio Movimiento

In August of 2006, the Prometheus Radio Project joined with PCUNn to build a Low Power FM community radio station, Radio Movimiento (Radio Movement), from the ground up in just one weekend. This “Radio Barnraising” was made possible with the help of hundreds of volunteers, and included dozens of skill-sharing sessions on building and running a radio station.


Cipriano F. En PCUN update

Traducción del noticiero “PCUN Update”
Edicción #23: diciembre, 1995

Editorial: “Triunfar en La Lucha sin él”

“Su fallecimiento nos ha dejado con del desafio mas difícil: triunfar en La Lucha sin él.”
Oimos estas palabras por primera vez no referentes a Cipriano Ferrel, sino que habladas por él mismo. En día 2 de mayo de 1993, en el homenaje PCUNista César Chávez, Cipriano lo declaró: ibamos a tener que ganar La Lucha sin César. Hoy, repetimos estas mismas palabras y enfrentamos ese desafio, el mas difícil, uno que ahora nos parece aun mas.
Aunque su vida fue demasiado breve, Cipriano nos dejó suficiente visión, sabiduría, y ejemplo para durar el resto de nuestras vidas y para llevar a cabo esa tarea tan difícil. Fue una visión de la liberación, un ejemplo de vivir con dignidad y auto-respeto, y la sabiduría para lograr ambos. Fue preocuparse para la gente en el movimiento, no solamente los temas políticos. Fue luchar—y desafiar a otros a luchar—con los retos mas duros. Fue encontrar el valor de ser un revolucionario y visualizarse–y visualizar nuestra sociedad—tal como deseamos que fuera. Y fue la firmez de seguir nuestros propios instinctos de defender un fundamento aunque la lucha fuera prolongada o el adversario poderoso.
Cuando miramos las docenas de fotos de Cipriano, tomadas a traves de casi dos décadas, notamos que lo retratan desempeñando los papeles mas comunes para él en nuestra organización y movimiento: comunicando ideas, transmitiendo la esperanza, escuchando las preocupaciones y pensamientos de otros y animando la auto-confianza.
Para cada uno de nosotros que fuimos profundamente impactos por Cipriano, tenemos que decidir como mejor mantener vivo su espíritu. ¿Cual es el sacrifice que puedo hacer? ¿Que puedo aportar? ¿Como puedo poner un ejemplo y a quien puedo apoyar para facilitar su aportación? Tenemos que tomar al pecho, así como la tomó Cipriano, la responsabilidad para cumplir lo que Che Guevara predijo: que la lucha quedaría en las manos de otros.
Para el personal y mesa directiva de PCUN, sentimos la presencia de Cipriano a diario y mas que su ausencia—también algo diario, porque nos hemos comprometido a cumplir esa tarea mas difícil. Sabemos que no estamos solos y que nos acompañan cada día mas personas comprometidas. Somo mas y seremos mas aun.

Como preguntó Dolores Huerta por primera vez en el año 1972: “¿Se puede?”

¡Si se puede!

Cipriano F. in PCUN update

From PCUN Update……Issue #23, December, 1995

Editorial: “Winning the Struggle Without Him”

“His death has left us the most difficult task of all: to win the struggle without him.”

We first heard those words spoken not about Cipriano Ferrel, but by him. At PCUN’s memorial for César Chávez on May 2, 1993, Cipriano issued that call: to win the struggle without César. Today, we repeat those words and face that task: the most difficult one, which now seems much more so.

Even in so short a life, Cipriano left us enough vision, wisdom and example to last us the rest of our lifetimes, and to complete that difficult task. A vision of liberation, an example of living with dignity and self-respect, and wisdom about achieving them. Caring about the people in the movement, not just the issues. Struggling—and challenging others to struggle—with the hard questions. Having the courage to be a revolutionary—visualizing oneself and our society as we strive for it to be. And never being deterred from following one’s instincts about defending a fundamental principle, no matter how protracted the fight or how powerful the adversary.

Looking through dozens of photos of Cipriano, spanning nearly two decades, we noticed that most of them captured his most central roles in this organization and in this movement: communicating ideas, conveying hope, listening to the concerns and thoughts of others, and encouraging self-confidence.

For each of us in whom Cipriano left an indelible mark, we must decide how best to keep Cipriano’s spirit alive. What sacrifice can I make? What can I offer? What example can I set and who can I support to facilitate their contribution? We must take to heart, as Cipriano did, our responsibility to fulfill Che Guevara’s prediction that “other hands will take up the struggle.”

For the staff and board of PCUN, we find that Cipriano’s presence, which we sense every day, outweighs his absence, which we also feel daily, because we are resolved to take on that most difficult task. We know that we are not alone and that our ranks—the ranks of the committed—have grown during this tough time and will continue to grow.

 As Dolores Huerta first asked in 1972: “¿Se puede?”  

¡Si se puede!


Poem of Cipriano Ferrel

To my children, I leave a world of injustices;

To my parents, I leave my gratitude for their humanitarian teachings;

To my comrades in the struggle, I leave my principles;

To the struggle, I leave my ideas;

To my enemies, I leave my smile;

The ill will always have my love of life;

To the wise, I leave my ignorance;

To the oppressed, I entrust my hope for a new world;

To those who I have disrespected, I ask their pardon;

To each of my lovers, I leave a piece of my heart.

(Transcribed from a handwritten page, date and authorship unknown)

PCUN In The News

Links to current news articles

Ramon Ramirez Arrested- 08/01/13

Story of PCUN Member Elizabeth Calixtro- 07/21/13

Oregon’s Legislators restore driver license- 05/01/13

Oregon Legislators restore drive license (2)- 05/01/13

Oregon Governor Signs Drive Cards Bill- 05/01/13

CAPACES Received Passive House Certification- 02/13/13

Cracking down on wage theft- 09/12/12

PCUN Donates Historic Documents to UO- July 2012

Opinion: Migrant Farmworkers Suffer in Oregon-03/30/12

Latino Presence iN Oregon (OBP Think Out Loud)- 05/31/12