[Are you new in town? This is everything you need to know about the Latinos in Utah and the resources available for our familias.]
I am back in the Beehive State after living for about a decade in North Carolina. Although I lived three years in Utah in the late 2000’s (I even became a mom while living here), Utah feels new.
It’s a new Utah in many things. For example, the farms that I remember seeing on my way to Provo by the freeway exits have been replaced with high-tech buildings. (Heck, they even call it Silicon Slopes!) I also noticed that a few small businesses like the place where I got my haircuts have been replaced with other new businesses.
This is all normal. It has been 10 years. It makes sense that it’s a different Utah than the one I remember. After all, I am also a different Linda. I am very excited to make this place my home, again.
Latinos in Utah
If there is one thing that makes me excited about the changes for the better is the Latino visibility in the state. I see us everywhere. I see us better organized. Of course, it’s not perfect, but I think it’s darn awesome that we are out there more than a decade ago.
My nerdy self did some numbers and these are the numbers that I got from my Google research about Latinos in Utah:
- 14.4% of Utahns are now Hispanic or Latino, making up the second-largest ethnic group.
- Nearly 1 in 4 Utahns is a racial or ethnic minority. Two-thirds of these children are Hispanic.
- Salt Lake County has the largest minority population at 344,482 or 29.7% of the population, with the
Hispanic population comprising nearly one-third of the minority population.
- Utah was second only to Washington, D.C., in the percentage growth of its non-Hispanic or non-Latino white population, which has risen by 11% since 2010!!!
- The largest groups are Mexican, Spaniard, Salvadoran, Peruvian, Guatemalan, and Puerto Rican.
- We are a young population! The median age of Utah Hispanics/Latinos in 2014 is 23.6 years.
- Hispanics/Latinos are more likely to speak a non-English language at home than any other Utah community, with Spanish being the most spoken language after English.
- And this is super interesting: About 40% of Hispanics/Latinos are foreign-born.
6 Latinx Organizations in Utah That You Should Know
Granted. I have only been in Utah for a year and it has been in the middle of a pandemic. Or maybe the fact that I am actually the new girl in town makes this list more relevant. These are some of the Latinx organizations in Utah that are offering resources and support to the local community. I will update as I get to know more, but until then, here is my super list:
- Suazo Business Center is a great resource for Latinos owned businesses. From creation to day-to-day operations, their advisors provide services to support you and your business.
- If you are into tech, this is for you! Latinas in Tech is a non-profit organization with the mission to connect, support and empower Latina women working in tech. I know their director and felt her genuine interest to help other Latinas to thrive.
- Comunidades Unidas‘ mission is to empower Latinx to recognize and achieve their own potential and be a positive force for change in the larger community. They offer immigration, health, and other community support services to familias.
- I like a lot The Dream Center at Salt Lake Community College. They work holistically with undocumented students and mixed-status families from college access to graduation and or transfer.
- Latinos in Action offers an asset-based approach to bridging the graduation and opportunity gap for Latino students, working from within the educational system to create positive change.
- Ella Rises inspires Latina youth with hope, confidence, and purpose; to continue their education, become community leaders, and preserve their cultural heritage. My oldest participated in their museum activity a few months ago, and I loved how the owners were truly invested in the girls success.
Dual Language Immersion Programs in Utah
Did you know that Utah is a pioneering state in dual language programs? La plena, how they would say in Ecuador. How do I know? Well, once upon a time in Manti, I was in this cute fancy hotel celebrating my anniversary, and I met the lady that ran these programs during dinner.
I don’t recall the details of how the conversation started, but I do remember her explaining how dual language education work and how these dual language immersion programs were so successful in NYC and in Utah. I was in awe. Although I am the product of bilingual private schools in Ecuador, it was a different story to learn that there were accessible programs in public school education of USA.
That was the day that I became passionate about dual language programs accessibility. Read why I send my kids to dual language programs here.
Anyhow, if you want to give dual language education a try or if you are looking for your children to continue these programs in Utah, here are great resources that might help you to know:
Check out this short video about first grade in a dual language program!