Fusing Cultures: Hispanics
in Missouri, Pt. 1
Flores has lived and worked in Marshall for
two years. She and her family came from El Salvador to find a
here is more comfortable," says Maria. "One could
offer nephews, nieces or children a more tranquil upbringing."
than 115,000 Hispanics have
come to Missouri for the same reasons. Domingo Martinez directs
Columbia's Cambio Center which provides support Latin Americans
new to the area.
move from one place to another and people always have moved.
They always do it looking for jobs or running away from some
that's the case in Missouri."
Hispanic population in Missouri has increased more than 90 percent
in the last ten
years. Even though this increase is large, Latinos account
for only two percent of Missouri's population."
2000 to 2003 the Hispanic population in Missouri increased by
12,000. More than 2,700 Hispanics live
in Boone County while neighboring counties such as Howard and
small number. Some rural counties like Pettis and Pulaski have
a very large number of Hispanics living there.
some areas we do have a huge increase of Spanish-speaking peoples,
especially the ones that are coming to work in the agricultural
plants or in (the) general food industry."
Agricultural Economist Corinne Valdivia sees another change. "It
used to be that mostly males would come and work and then go
back to their place of origin. So there was a lot of seasonal
movement of labor.
families are coming and settling, so that's a big difference from
says she and her family plan to remain in the U.S. "As long as
God gives us life, here we will stay. The reason is that it's
place for business and here you
can make it, succeed here."
that's a good thing, according to the Cambio Center's Martinez. "A smooth
integration benefits everybody, benefits the people that live
here, you and me, that have lived here for many years and
Valdivia says Hispanic immigrants are boosting the state's bottom
that they're a potential contributor to our economy and our
communities is something that's critical. And the more we create
awareness about that, the better off we will all be."
family moved to Marshall to become part of the U.S. They now
own their own Hispanic grocery
store. She says, "The people in the community respond to us very
well. There are a lot of people that come here and want everything
that we offer
when asked if she would ever go back to El Salvador, Maria says
she won't go back. "No, no. It's very poor, it's really
poor over there."
Reporter: Christine McCarty
Web Producer: Mike McKean
Original Air Date: May 29, 2005