About Us
Saul Martinez Elementary School
“Forward Together”
The history behind our name
Saul Martinez
This school is dedicated to the memory of Indio CHP Officer Saul Martinez. Saul’s remarkable life story began in Villa Juarez, San Luis Potosi, Mexico, November 15, 1958. In 1963 his family moved to the United States and eventually settled in Cabrillo Village, a small farm labor camp near Ventura, California. Saul’s father, Fidel, and his mother Amparo, worked the farm fields. Saul and his four brothers and two sisters, learned to help in the fields, working after school and especially during the summers.
Saul’s outgoing personality, solid education and excellent work ethic led to a job offer from the United Farm Workers. Saul started as a translator, quickly rising to the position of chief negotiator for California crops. It was during this time that he met, then married Remedios Ceja. Saul found himself working side by side for years with UFW President Cesar Chavez. Mr. Chavez was a close friend to both the Ceja and the Martinez families.
Saul enjoyed his work with the UFW, but longed for a job that would involve less time away from his new, growing, family, and still allowing him to make a difference in his community. On May 19, 1989, Saul proudly joined the CHP and was assigned to the Indio Area. He immediately excelled at communication the CHP’s traffic safety message, addressing himself primarily to the Hispanic community through the CHP’s “El Protector” Program.
While excelling at his new career, Saul still found plenty of time to be actively involved with his wife and three children, as well as with his church. He coached his kids’ sports teams, assisted at many school functions, and started the local chapter of “Escuela De La Cruz” at Indio’s Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church.
When Saul was tragically taken from us on May 16, 1997, the outpouring of community concern was unprecedented. Over 5,000 mourners came to support the Martinez family at the wake held at the county fair grounds. More then 2,500 family and friends, fellow officers, UFW members and community supporters crowded into the and around Our Lady of Perpetual Help for the Funeral Mass. After the Mass, California Governor Wilson eulogized this modern hero as one who “gave his life in a way that was not merely defined as heroism. It was selfless.” In a final tribute to Saul’s remarkable accomplishments, this school was named in his honor.
Since the dedication of Saul Martinez Elementary School the Martinez family continues to play an active role in the community and here at the school.