October 1, 2014
By George Autobee
A visionary Pueblo!
The vision of Pueblo leaders is evident and appreciated as the traditions of the Spanish-speaking Pueblo and Southern Colorado communities are highlighted and supported via community events. Pueblo’s large Latino population is reflected in newly formed businesses, a growing student enrollment and in a powerful voting bloc which will decide upcoming presidential elections as they did in the election of President Obama. In line with the 2010 U.S. Census, Colorado’s Latino population grew by 42 percent, and area leaders are reacting with inclusiveness, outreach and financial support.
Examples of inclusiveness are The Colorado State Fair Fiesta Days within the Colorado State Fair’s regular schedule. The Pueblo Frijoles & Chile Fest and Colorado State Fair Fiesta Days both reflect the cultural impact of the local Hispanic/Latino community on Pueblo. Millions of dollars are being generated at both events which flow into the community.
A happening Pueblo!
Recently, three other events took place in Pueblo to include, First Latin Book Fest held at the Robert Hoag Rawlings Public Library, the LULAC annual state conference held at Colorado State University – Pueblo, and the Latino Chamber of Commerce honoring Juan and Deborah Espinosa, as recipients of the Latino Chamber of Commerce Latino Lifetime Achievement Award.
A giving community!
The many nonprofit organizations that outreach to the Pueblo and Southern Colorado Hispanic community include the Latino Chamber of Commerce of Pueblo led by President/CEO, Sandy Gutierrez, The League of United Latin American Citizens (L.U.L.A.C.), chaired by Betty Martinez and the American GI Forum – Pueblo Chapter. Political issues are addressed by the Pueblo Latino Democratic Forum, chaired by Sonia Negrete-Winn. The United Way of Pueblo County led by CEO and President, Andrea Aragon also serves the needs of a growing Latino community.
Pueblo’s Hispanic history support
Pueblo’s community is rich in culture and history. Many organizations supporting these areas are the Fray Angelico Chavez Chapter of the Genealogical Society of Hispanic America, chaired by Ralph Salaz, PhD, that maintains accurate historical information. Other groups include La Gente Youth Sports, Project Adelante Phase II, Inc. chaired by Pablo Gonzales, Jr. At the educational level, Colorado State University – Pueblo’s Chicano Studies program is led by Fawn Montoya, PhD. M.E.Ch.A Student organization and L.U.L.A.C. Student Chapter are CSU-Pueblo entities.
Source: La Voz Colorado