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Cache Valley, Utah: Latino/Latina Voices & History. Eduardo Ortiz, Ph.D . Maria Spicer-Escalante, Ph.D. Randy Wiliams Utah State University.

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cache valley utah latino latina voices history

Cache Valley, Utah: Latino/Latina Voices & History

Eduardo Ortiz, Ph.D.

Maria Spicer-Escalante, Ph.D.

Randy Wiliams

Utah State University


“As a member of this community, and as a direct contributor to the [Latino/a Voices]Project’s fulfillment, I cannot think of a better way to bring the Latino community to light, with its qualities and strength of character that have helped us forge a present and a future in a western corner of a great nation. The Latino Voices Project is making justice as it enhances the quality of education, promotes further research, and connects generations through the years. Elisaida Méndez, Assistant Director Latino/a Voices Project (2007).”

the latino a voices project
The Latino/aVoices Project

. . . is a diverse collection of oral histories from Cache Valley’s Latino/a citizens collected in 2007.

. . . works to better represent Latino/a communities in USU Special Collections.

. . . as of November 2012 includes the voices of Mountain Crest High School students.

. . . is online!

Randy Williams: Project Director

collection content 46 interviews from 2007 effort

Demographics & culture



Life in Cache Valley


Collection Content46 interviews from 2007 effort
youth perspectives mountain crest high school students
Youth Perspectives:Mountain Crest High School students

In 2012 the collection was enhanced by adding youth perspectives to the collection.

•1 Focus group interview with nine students

•7 individual interviews conducted by Randy Williams (5), Eduardo Ortiz (1) and Maria Luisa Spicer-Escalante (1)

latino demographics in cache valley

Census 1970

Persons of Spanish origin Cache County: 151 persons (0.8% total pop.)

Census 1980

Persons of Spanish origin Cache County: 708 persons (1.2% total pop.)

Census 1990

Persons of Hispanic origin Cache County: 1,656

(2.4% total pop.)

Latino Demographics in Cache Valley
latino demographics in cache valley1

Census 2000

Hispanic or Latino in Cache County:

5,786 (6.3% total pop.)

Mexican origin: 4,047

Central American: 439

South American: 234

Latino Demographics in Cache Valley
latino demographics in cache valley2

Census 2010

Total population Cache Valley: 112,656

Hispanic or Latino: 11,216 (10%)

Mexican Population: 8,193 (7.3%)

Central American: 1,145 (1%)

South American: 560 (0.5%)

Latino Demographics in Cache Valley
latino demographics in cache valley gender trends

Census 1970

Hispanic Latinos Males: 57%

Hispanic Latinos Females: 43%

Census 2010

Hispanic Latinos Males: 52%

Hispanic Latinas Females: 48%

Latino Demographics in Cache Valley: Gender Trends
latino demographics in cache valley3

Census 2010

Median age

US White population: 40.3 years

Utah White population: 30.2 years

Cache Valley White pop: 26 years

Cache Valley Latino pop: 21 years

Latino Demographics in Cache Valley
latino demographics in cache valley age distribution

Census 2010 – Cache Valley

% under 15 years White Population: 26%

% under 15 years Latino: 37%

% over 55 years White Population: 16%

% over 60 years Latino: 5%

Latino Demographics in Cache Valley: Age Distribution
latino demographics in cache valley poverty employment

ACS 2006 – 2010 (5 years estimates)

Unemployment (16 years and over)

White population: 5%

Hispanic or Latino: 7%


White population: 14%

Hispanic or Latino: 26%

Latino Demographics in Cache Valley:Poverty & Employment
why cache valley

“Bueno, por supuesto tienen la paz de aquí, la seguridad, aquí sales a la calle y no tienes miedo que alguien te va a asaltar, que alguien te va a robar, que alguien te va a matar, sino que la paz y la seguridad… probablemente comida nunca falta, allá nosotras a veces no teníamos que comer entonces te conformabas con lo que había… en las escuelas aquí todo se facilita pero nosotras allá teníamos que estudiar duro y para mantenerte tenías que de verdad esforzarte. Entoncesyoveoqueaquí es todomásfácil.”

“Well, of course there is peace and safety here. You go out and you are not afraid of getting assaulted, robbed, and killed; (here) there is peace and safety… there is not lack of food (here), sometimes we had nothing to eat (there), then you got what you had… here everything is easy at the schools, but there (her country) we had to study hard to hang in there, you had to make truly efforts. Then, I think everything here is easier.”

Why Cache Valley
place comparisons

“Aquí uno tiene muchas cosas que no tiene allá. Por ejemplo, allá nunca tuvimos carro, siempre andábamos en busetas, en buses, que llama uno. Pero normal… En la niñez tuve que trabajar, porque yo nací cuando mi papá tenía 53 o 54 años y tuve que empezar a trabajar temprano para poder ayudar a la familia.”

“Here we have many things we didn’t have there. For example, we never had a car and we always used buses. It was common… In my childhood I had to work, because I was born when my dad was 53 or 54 years old and I had to start working early to help my family”

Place Comparisons
community interactions perceptions

“Porque normalmente cuando tu ves a gente de color, se cree que esa persona no ha tenido ninguna educación, es un estereotipo… y la gente piensa que supuestamente como eres Latino eres ilegal y tu le dices a una persona que tú eres ingeniero y estás terminando tu maestría, ya la gente te ve desde otro punto de vista”

“If you see people of color, you think that person does not have education, it is an stereotype… people think about Latinos they are illegal but if you say I am an engineer or you are finishing a master then they see you from a different perspective”

Community InteractionsPerceptions
community interactions perceptions1

“When I arrived in Utah”… remembered “my first class was a fun biology workshop” where the class looked at stereotypes. The class assignment paired two students together; each was given a slip of paper and in 30 seconds they were to write down their first impressions of their partner. The only Latino (there), recalled that “this quiet, quiet gal unfolded the paper;” I told her, “You got a Mexican Latino.” Inviting her to tell him what she had written and that he would not “get upset;” unfortunately, the words she had written did sting. “She told me” Baquero recalled “that we are ‘poor, lazy and uneducated.’” You “cannot block that and that is truly what is in your head as a stereotype.”

Community InteractionsPerceptions
community interactions venues settings

“no hay mucha vida social acá. Digamos es un vecindario que nadie se mete contigo ni tu con ellos, no tienes cabida para desenvolverte ni para hablar ni conocer porque como son familias, entonces cada familia tiene su espacio, y se hace difícil interrumpir. La amistad se hace difícil porque las familias quieren estar entre ellos.”

“There is not much social life here. Let’s say, within a neighborhood nobody approaches to you and you don’t approach to them, you don’t have much opportunities to interact neither to get them know because they are families that wants their (own) space and it is difficult to interrupt. Friendship is difficult because families want to stay with themselves.”

Community Interactions:Venues/settings
community interactions venues settings1

“Con mis vecinos vamos a la iglesia, con la gente con la que trabajo son miembros de la iglesia, y entonces podes hablar de la iglesia, podes hablar de lo que haces en la iglesia, de tus llamamientos y entienden de lo que estás hablando.”

“We go with our neighbors to Church. The people I work with are members of the (same) Church. So we can talk about church, we can talk about what we do in Church, we can talk about our callings and they understand what I am talking about.”

Community Interactions:Venues/settings
community interactions acculturation

“Trato de visualizar lo que tenemos en común… por ejemplo, tengo un vecino que es mi amigo y le gusta jugar videojuegos entonces yo trato de jugar con él de vez en cuando y es una manera de socializar. En cuanto a diferencias religiosas y creencias y costumbres nuestras vidas son totalmente diferentes pero creo que siempre hay una manera de encontrar algo en común para poder socializar”

“I try to visualize common interests… for example I have a neighbor who is my friend and he likes to play videogames, so I try to play with him once in a while. This is a way to socialize. In relation to (cultural) differences like religion, beliefs, and traditions, our lives (we) are very different but I think always there is a way to find something in common to socialize.”

Community InteractionsAcculturation
community interactions integration

“… la relación con los vecinos, yo voy a su garaje, cojo una herramienta y les digo “llevo tal cosa” o ellos vienen aquí, hablan conmigo… Sí, pasamos gritando de uno a otro lado del vecindario (risas). El 4 de Julio y no recuerdo que otras fechas solemos hacer picnics en algunos de los solares de las casas y todo el mundo llega y llevamos nuestras comidas o alguien pone la comida. Y nos conocemos…”

“…(about) the relations with our neighbors I go to their garage and take a tool and then I tell them “I’m taking something” or they come here to talk with me… We keep shouting (friendly) from one side of the neighborhood to another (laughing) On July 4th and other times I don’t remember we have picnics in some backyards and everyone comes, we prepare our food or someone bring food… and we get know each other…”

Community InteractionsIntegration
emotional and social challenges

“Well when my brother got deported, inside I was sad and scared for my brother, worrying about him; but outside, I didn’t want anybody to know I was sad, so I just had a fake smile on my face everyday. So like I made soccer team, and it was kind of hard because I was thinking about my brother at the same time, and I had to focus on soccer; it was kind of hard.”

“… At first I was nervous for high school – just feeling different, because I was a different color, I thought they would treat me different (like the teachers); but some do, some don’t.”

Because they’re just saying like, “Oh, you’re brown. You’re catholic, you’re useless.” I’m like, “Whatever.”

Emotional and Social Challenges

And when I was younger, my parents used to work a lot… And I used to love being with my grandma. . . And well, [getting choked up] she was always in the kitchen, so I wanted to be with her, so I just started helping her out. . . . Well, she used to babysit us, and my cousins used to be either watching the TV, or else out playing soccer – and I wasn’t really much of a sports guy, and I don’t really like sitting down just to watch TV. So I asked, “Grandma, what can I help you with?” Like just getting ingredients, or cleaning up, or setting things up. And just like, I started helping her; and my favorite thing helping her with was making tamales



Better understanding

Cultural (traditions, food, music, values, skills, etc.), Social, Emotional, Psychological, Academic, Socioeconomic

Effective help


Maximize potential


Future of our community

Future of America

Diversity in harmony is a powerful outcome to pursue







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