Exploring the Latin American Influence in Northern Louisiana

Maria's family is a prime example of the Latin American immigrants who have successfully assimilated into the culture of North and Central Louisiana. Despite language barriers and the types of jobs they work, mainly in rural agriculture, they have managed to settle on the fringes of the majority society. The strategic location of Crescent City between the large consumer economy of the United States and the extractive economies of Latin America has been a key factor in the influx of immigrants from Mexico, Central America, Brazil, and Peru. The impact of this recent immigrant population can be seen in the new restaurants, stores, festivals, and radio programs that have been created to cater to their needs. For instance, Taquería Chilangos opened in Kenner's 2700 block mall, offering a variety of Latin American pastries and lunch options.

Norma's Sweets Bakery in Mid-City New Orleans is another popular destination for its Cuban-style king cake filled with cream cheese and guava paste. The rise in Mexican and Central American population has also forced some immigrant workers to move north to Oklahoma and east to Louisiana to find employment. Many of these workers have obtained U. S. citizenship and are living part time in both countries.

Visitors can easily spot the Latin American footprint woven into the urban fabric that extends from the French Quarter to Kenner and St. Bernard Parish. Products such as McCoy's cod liver oil and chamomile can be found in many grocery stores in North Louisiana. While some of the Mexicans and Central Americans are undocumented workers, many others seem to have appropriate immigration credentials and some even have permanent residence status. According to mid-century decennial censuses, Hondurans were considered to be the main Latin American nationality in the metropolitan area. The presence of Latin American immigrants has had a profound effect on northern Louisiana.

From new restaurants and stores to festivals and radio programs, they have left their mark on the area. The influx of immigrants has also led to an increase in products from Latin America being sold in local stores. The Latin American influence is evident throughout northern Louisiana. From cultural events such as festivals celebrating traditional music and cuisine to new businesses catering to their needs, it is clear that this population has had a significant impact on the region. The influx of immigrants has also led to an increase in products from Latin America being sold in local stores. The presence of Latin American immigrants has been beneficial for northern Louisiana.

They have brought with them a wealth of culture, traditions, and cuisine that have enriched the area. They have also provided much needed labor for local businesses, helping to stimulate economic growth. It is clear that this population has had a positive impact on northern Louisiana.

Willem Vermeulen
Willem Vermeulen

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