Barry Lewis, Rubén Martinez, Juan David Coronado
When he wrote the passage above to his wife, Josefa Moreno, Pablo de la Guerra probably did not expect that more than a century later historians would be mulling over the more personal and earthly realities of his much celebrated public life. A politician whose career spanned the Mexican and Euroamerican periods of Alta California, he is the subject of a number of articles and one dissertation. Most of these studies deal with his civic contributions and those of the de la Guerra family. Indeed, de la Guerra’s family letters to Josefa Moreno de la Guerra provide a rare window through which one can explore the microcosm of family, gender, and generational relations within the context of political, economic, and cultural turbulence, which followed the American conquest and annexation of California. Because of his role as a statesman, Pablo was an absentee husband, father, and businessman who heavily relied on Josefa in order to complete his socially constructed and expected duties as a patriarch.
Rubén Martinez, Dilshani Sarathchandra, Paul Babladelis, Steven Miller
Michigan Latino farmers contribute to the largest and fastest-growing minority-farming group in the U.S. However, they are subject to lack of financial resources, limited land ownership, difficulty in obtaining bank loans, low sales, insufficient training, meager farm equipment, language barriers, and limited information resources. This report considers these barriers, providing research results from a survey of Latino farmers in Michigan and focuses primarily on berry, livestock, and other-produce farmers. These farmers are a diverse group of individuals with different practices and processes. This study demonstrates that a study focusing on specific types of farmers can identify specific issues pertaining to those types of farmers. For example, this study shows that Latino berry farmers tend to engage in agricultural planning and practices that lead to improved sales.
German Cutz, Ana Legrand
From November 2013 to November 2014 UConn Extension in collaboration with Candlelight Farms in New Milford, Connecticut implemented a year-round urban agriculture program in Spanish. Fifteen urban, Hispanic immigrant residents from Danbury, Connecticut started, and 11 finished the year-round training. Most participants were adults between 30 and 45 years of age. The urban agriculture program included three components: classroom instruction, hands-on vegetable production, and entrepreneurship. Classroom instruction as well as field activities were delivered in Spanish. Three modules from the Connecticut’s Master Gardeners curriculum were translated into Spanish. Participants completed botany, entomology, and vegetable production. To measure knowledge gain, participants were administered pre- and post-tests at the beginning and end of each module. Average knowledge gain from each module was as follows: botany 72.4%, vegetable production 70.1%, and entomology 69.6%. In addition, participants were given a cumulative final exam, where 10 out of 11 scored 70% or higher. The urban agriculture program showed the need to develop and deliver Extension programming in Spanish to help Hispanics understand the importance of agriculture literacy in urban cities.
Ruben Martinez, Jean Kayitsinga
This study presents findings from a sub-sample of the survey of Extension educators in the North Central Regional. This study was conducted by the Julian Samora Research Institute on behalf of the North Central Extension Research Institute Activity (NCERA). Results show that almost half of respondents in Michigan do not regularly interact with Latino communities, but the majority of respondents are interested in collaborating with Latino-serving organizations in their areas to reach the Latino population. A majority of respondents indicated that there is lack of Extension programs tailored for and the capacity to serve Latino populations. A majority of respondents also indicated that residents trust Latinos and that they contribute to the economic health of their communities. Further a majority believe that more resources should be allocated by Extension units to better serve Latino communities, including hiring more bilingual, bicultural educators.
Ruben Martinez, Jean Kayitsinga, Daniel Velez-Ortiz, Pilar Horner
A survey of Cooperative Extension educators in the Midwest conducted in the summer of 2015 yielded 724 completed questionnaires. Results show that the majority of respondents have little contact with Latinos but they are interested in learning more about these communities and recognize that more could be done by local Extension units to provide services to them. This includes training for educators so they can better serve Latino communities. A majority of respondents hold positive views of Latinos and believe they contribute to their communities. Further a majority believe that more resources should be allocated by Extension units to better serve Latino communities, including hiring more bilingual, bicultural educators.
Ruben Martinez, Jean Kayitsinga, Daniel Velez-Ortiz, Pilar Horner, Sonia Acosta
Obesity is a public health concern in the United States. Minority children, especially Mexican American boys and African American girls, are more likely than non-Hispanic White children to be obese. Obese children are at higher risk for chronic health conditions such as heart disease and Type II Diabetes and are at a greater risk for social and psychological problems. The objective of this study was to evaluate a Spanish version of the Shapedown program and assess its effectiveness in helping Latino families in Pontiac, Michigan learn to make healthy lifestyle choices regarding nutrition and exercise as they build effective family support relationships. The results show no significant differences in children’s eating habits and importance of eating healthy foods between the Shapedown and control groups. However, we found a significant change in that scale over time. We did not expect, given a short period of time, to find a significant difference in children’s BMI between the Shapedown and control groups or over time. Qualitative results showed valuable lessons learned from the Shapedown program, including learning how to eat healthy foods, how to exercise together as a family, and the importance of the family unit as key for long-term sustainability of adopting healthy lifestyles. Overall, the project was a positive experience for both participants and university researchers in terms of collaborative efforts, lessons learned, and barriers in conducting evaluation and collaborative research between university and community organizations.
Sonia G Morales Osegueda
Washington State offers development programs such as the 4-H Annual Teen Conference, held at the Pullman campus. The program targets youths from all ethnicities and backgrounds. Since 2009, seventy-two Latino youth from King County have attended the Teen Conference. This article describes how Latino youth benefited from a wide variety of educational workshops, ranging from skills development to college and career exploration. It also examines the influence parents have in supporting their children in this kind of experience that often provides the first encounter with a higher education environment that serves to spark the aspiration to pursue a college education.
San Antonio, Texas is the seventh largest city in the U.S. and the second largest city in Texas with a minority majority Latino population. It is the fastest growing of the top 10 largest cities in the U.S. Despite its Latino demographic dominance, San Antonio has only had three major Latino Mayors: Henry Cisneros, Edward Garza, and Julian Castro. This essay examines why this city has had only a few Latino mayors and what it takes for such candidates to win the mayoral office. This essay concludes the following findings: first, time and opportunity are critical to winning an election. Second, for a minority candidate to win the mayoral office, a broad collation is necessary. Third, serving on the city council is a necessary apprenticeship for winning office. This report is significant for understanding the political incorporation of Latino mayors into American politics. All three Latino mayors highlight the importance of consensus building, cooperation, and the absence of a confrontational spirit, which is key for Latinos to have a place at the table.
This report provides an overview of approaches for the promotion of minority small businesses in the aftermath of the Great Recession of 2007-08. It also describes how these approaches could prove useful for addressing ethnic minority business development in Michigan. With the national unemployment rate at 10.0% in the aftermath of the recession, Michigan reflected a significantly higher unemployment rate of 14.1%. The result was that a portion of the labor force began to leave the state and the lack of employment took a devastating toll on minority groups and their communities. This report holds that minority-owned small businesses promote investment in state and local economies and provide employment opportunities to minorities and women. The report also provides an in-depth look at federal, state and local programs that support minority business development through the availability of capital, tax incentives and other mechanisms, and calls for Michigan to create an agency that promotes business development among minorities.
Dawn Browder, Kimberly Greder and Sedahlia Jasper Crase
As the Latino population across the United States has rapidly grown, so has the prevalence of poverty and food insecurity, both of which compromise mental health. This study interviewed 103 Latina immigrant mothers living in rural communities in four states annually over three years to identify individual and family level factors that influenced maternal depression. Findings revealed that mothers who consistently had low depression scores had a higher participation rate in the National School Lunch Program and were more food secure than mothers who consistently had high depression scores. Mothers who consistently had low depression scores more commonly reported supportive relationships with their spouses or partners and families of origin, less financial stress, and performed fewer roles than mothers who consistently had high depression scores. Implications related to screening for depressive symptoms, strengthening strained Latino immigrant couple relationships, and implementing policies to ensure livable wages and access to health care are identified in this paper.
Rubén O. Martinez, Bette Avila
Using the Kauffman Firm Survey (2004-2009) data, this study examines the type of funding sources Latina-owned businesses utilized during their first year of operation by comparing them with the results of businesses owned by Latino males and women of other racial/ethnic groups. We also examine the relationship between startup funding types and business survivability. Previous literature suggests that businesses that lack formal funds at startup have a greater difficultly surviving. The study samples 4,815 businesses at the baseline year (2004). Overall, the results of the analysis suggest the following: (1) Latinos are younger and have fewer years of work experience, on average, compared to White men, while Latinas do not significantly differ when compared to White women; (2) Latina-owned businesses represent a larger percentage of businesses within the lower technology sector compared to White women, while Latinos do not significantly differ compared to White men; (3) Latinos use significantly more informal funds compared to White men, while Latinas do not significantly differ in their use of any type of startup funds compared to White women; and (4) Latino- and Latina-owned businesses are more likely to go out of business compared to White male and female-owned businesses, regardless of the type of startup funds they utilize. This analysis also provides factors at both the owner and firm levels affecting business success. Implications for future research and policy recommendations are discussed.
Rubén O. Martinez, Bette Avila, Olga Santiago & Jennifer Tello Buntin
Using the Kauffman Firm Survey (KFS) longitudinal dataset (2004-2009), this study examined the type of startup funding sources that Latino business owners utilized in their first year of operation, compared the results with businesses owned by other races/ethnicities, and explored the impact on firm survivability. Based on previous literature that suggests that formal (bank and financial institution) funds are vital to long term business success, we explored this hypothesis using a sample of 4,815 businesses at the baseline year (2004) with n=244 Latino-owned businesses. Overall, our results suggested that Latinos utilized a significantly (p > .05) larger percentage of informal funds as compared to Whites and a smaller percentage of formal funds and that Latino-owned businesses are at greater risk of going out of business compared to White-owned businesses regardless of startup fund type.
Rubén O. Martinez, Jennifer T. Buntin & William Escalante
The focus of this paper is legislation in Midwestern states passed between January 2009 and June 2010 in relation to immigrants. Recent enacted legislation is a reflection of concrete efforts to influence how immigrants should be or are being received into communities; whether they should be excluded, ignored or integrated. The research question addressed is: What state-wide legislative policies are shaping the contexts of reception for Latino immigrants across the Midwestern states? A context of reception can be integrating, passively accepting, or exclusionary. We used content analysis of enacted immigration legislation in the Midwest and organized them into three categories: integrating, exclusionary or neutral, each with points of significant and moderate values, and neutral tending toward one or the other categories. Results show that of the policies that were enacted in 2009 and the first half of 2010, forty four laws were found to be integrating, thirty nine laws were exclusionary, and twelve laws were neutral. Illinois is the most inclusive state in the Midwest, and has the largest Latino population in the region. North Dakota and Michigan are moderately integrating, Kansas and Ohio are inclusive-neutral, South Dakota and Wisconsin are basically neutral, Minnesota and Indiana are exclusionary neutral, Missouri is moderately exclusionary, and Iowa and Nebraska are the most exclusionary. The data suggest that Midwestern states are situated across the full spectrum between inclusive and exclusive positions, and that the policy environment is very dynamic, especially given the results of the 2010 election. When it comes to the context of reception, the Midwest has been "on the fence," but is tending toward stronger exclusionary state policy stances.
German Cutz & Emma Theuri
University of Illinois Extension, in partnership with Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Joliet, Illinois, offered a technology summer program for Hispanic youth from June 22 to July 22, 2009. The program, "Looking Back, Moving Forward," utilized self-directed learning activities during the entire program. Eight out of fourteen Hispanic students completed sixty hours of training by attending a three-hour class from Monday through Friday. There were seven females and one male whose ages ranged from twelve to seventeen years old. To assess students' knowledge before and after the program, they were administered pre- and post-tests. The highest score on the pre-test was 32 percent, but that went up to 88 percent on the post-test. To document the factors that affected students' learning, they completed a self-report card every day. Student reports on factors that positively affected their learning included: 1) sense of accomplishment; 2) excitement; 3) experimenting; 4) self-directed learning; 5) confidence; and 6) time management. Factors that limited students' learning included: 1) inability to complete tasks; 2) frustration; 3) equipment malfunctions; 4) uncertainty; and 5) tediousness.
Communities in the Midwest region have been experiencing demographic changes associated with a growing Latino population and an out-migration of the non-Latino population. These demographic changes have an impact on places and people and are linked to local social and economic conditions. The economic restructuring in the Midwest has had devastating effects on people, families, and communities, exacerbating old wounds of inequality and economic hardships. Racial/ethnic minorities are disproportionately affected by these structural economic changes—they have, on average, lower levels of education, lower access to employment, and lower wages, all of which contribute to higher levels of poverty. Using a multilevel framework, this study investigates the integrated influences of race/ethnicity, location, and local opportunity structures on household poverty. Data are drawn from the 2005–2007 American Community Survey Public Use Microdata Sample data for the individual and household characteristics and from the American Community Survey Summary Files for labor market area characteristics. Results indicate that racial/ethnic minorities remain disproportionately disadvantaged in terms of household poverty. The odds of poverty are largely the result of differences in residential location and local labor market area socioeconomic and opportunity structures, not of the effects of individual and household characteristics, such as education, household structure, and industry of employment. These findings imply that improving the local labor market opportunity structures—i.e., creating and keeping good jobs in the Midwest, concomitant with improving education and job skills, and helping forgotten and disadvantaged communities—can better address the well-being of racial/ ethnic minorities.
Using data from the 2007-2009 Annual Social and Economic supplement of the Current Population Surveys, this study explores the relationship between poverty and the health of children from various racial/ethnic minority and immigrant families in the Midwest. Findings show that: * Racial/ethnic minority children experience poorer health than Non-Hispanic White children; * Increased poverty among children predicts poorer children's health; and * Immigrant children have poorer health than natives, and second-generation immigrant children have poorer health than first- and third-generation immigrant children. This study demonstrates the health disadvantages of Midwestern children from racial/ethnic minority families faced by poverty. The gap in children't health between Non-Hispanic White and minority children persists even after accounting for the effects of immigrant status, poverty, family structure, parental education, health insurance coverage, and metropolitan/nonmetropolitan residence. Improving the economic well-being of all racial/ethnic minority and immigrant families would improve children's health.
Jean Kayitsinga, Rubén O. Martinez &Francisco F. Villarruel
This paper examines the effects of family social capital, community social capital and collective efficacy on childhood overweight, employing logistic regression models. Using data from the Child Development Supplement and the 2000 U.S. Census, we find that both parent-child involvement in activities and parental enforcement of rules reduce the odds of childhood overweight, controlling for family and child characteristics. We also find that high levels of community social capital and collective efficacy reduce the odds of childhood overweight, controlling for community, family and child characteristics. These findings suggest that interventions of childhood overweight should target social processes in children’s environments.
Research by Eisenman and Dantzker (2003, 2006) has suggested that male and female Hispanic college students may have sex attitudes that lead to conflict between the sexes. Findings are presented here from 330 university students which show possible areas of conflict and also areas of agreement. The results mostly supported evolutionary psychology theory, with 23 of the 38 sex attitude items showing statistically significant sex differences, and mostly in the expected direction. In addition, 19 of the 38 items showed statistically significant differences between Hispanics and non-Hispanics. However, for both comparisons, all of the differences were relatively small. Overall, there was more agreement than disagreement with the sex attitude items. Implications are discussed.
Jean Kayitsinga & Rubén O. Martinez
This study focuses on the impact of race/ethnicity, household structure, and socioeconomic status on health and assesses how household structure and socioeconomic status explain the racial/ethnic gaps in health among adults in the Midwest. Data are drawn from the Current Population Survey (CPS) for 2006-2008. Findings indicate that the odds of fair/poor health are higher for African Americans, Latinos, and other race/ethnic groups than those of non-Hispanic Whites. Also, the odds of fair/poor health are higher for single male-headed householders and single female-headed householders than they are for householders in dual-headed households. As might be expected, higher levels of education and higher incomes are associated with lower odds of fair/poor health, even after controlling for age, foreign-born status, home ownership, nonmetropolitan residence, job quality, and health insurance coverage. Findings also reveal that the gaps in health between Whites and African-Americans persist even after accounting for household structure, socioeconomic status, job quality, and health insurance coverage, and that the gaps in health between White and Latinos are fully explained by household structure socioeconomic status indicators. Of all factors, socioeconomic status indicators are the most important source of reduction in racial/ethnic gap in health. The results imply that interventions to improve socioeconomic conditions and strengthen households, especially single female-headed households, may reduce the racial/ethnic gaps in health.
Even with the steady advancement of Latinas to elective office since the 1990s, they continue to be under-represented in public office. Their relative absence diminishes the diversity of the voices of marginalized groups in U.S. politics, while their presence adds to it. Latina officeholders represent multiple groups through their support and advancement of policies that promote the interests and address the needs of many. Latinas in public office are noted for their unique means of coalition building, a characteristic approach of Latina community and political activists, that emphasizes relational politics. Based on data collected through group interviews in San Antonio, Texas, this paper identifies patterns of variables that influence Latina considerations relative to running for public office. Specific findings include the following: 1) gender and ethnicity intersect for Latinas to influence their decision to run for public office; 2) group consciousness and family support provide Latinas with resources to overcome barriers to becoming candidates; and 3) familial obligations, institutional designs of public offices in Texas, and risks associated with running for office constrain the willingness of Latinas to run for public office.
Arturo Vega & Rubén Martinez
This paper assesses the effectiveness of the Closing the Gaps Higher Education Plan approved and implemented by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board in 2000 to improve the quality of higher education and address educational gaps prevalent among the State’s diverse populations. The plan targets four areas for improvement: 1) student participation, 2) success, 3) excellence, and 4) research. This paper focuses only on the first and second goals. In addition to providing an overview of Closing the Gaps, we present a Latino Scorecard for 34 of Texas’ public universities based on eight institutional measures including resources, enrollments, graduation rates, student/ faculty ratios, affordability, student diversity, faculty representativeness, and local population figures. The overall scorecard is produced by adding the z-scores for the eight measures for each institution. Negative values are assigned to two z-scores, one a measure of student/faculty equity and the other a measure of affordability. The negative values provide counterweights to the effects of Latino majority enrollments at South Texas institutions (a correlated variable) and to the relatively higher tuition costs at some institutions (another correlated variable). Statistical analyses show that Latino students are concentrated at institutions at the lower end of the State’s higher education stratification system, which are located in South Texas where this population is concentrated. They also show that these institutions received fewer resources than those institutions at the top of the system. Consequently, while the scorecard ranks the institutions in terms of how well they do by Latinos, the statistical analyses shows that geographic location is related to Latino enrollments and institutional resources are related to Latino graduation rates.
Walter A. Ewing
This report examines how current U.S. immigration policies undermine National security and the economy. It questions the U.S. government’s longstanding approach to the problem of undocumented immigration. Since the mid-1980s, the federal government has tried repeatedly, without success, to stem the flow of undocumented immigrants with all sorts of immigration-enforcement initiatives such as deploying more and more agents, fences, flood lights, aircraft, cameras, sensors along the southwest border with Mexico, increasing the number of worksite raids and arrests, expanding detention facilities to accommodate the hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants apprehended each year, and creating new bureaucratic procedures to expedite the return of detained immigrants to their home countries. Despite the enormous fiscal, economic, and human costs of these measures, they have yet to make a demonstrable dent in the number of undocumented immigrants entering the country. Globalization has also been accelerating for decades, facilitating the rapid movement of goods, services, capital, information, and people across international borders. Yet, U.S. policy makers persist in a quixotic attempt to impose restrictions on immigration. The enforcement-without-reform approach of the past two decades has needlessly created an unstainable contradiction between U.S. immigration policy and the U.S. economy and the latter is winning.
Marcelo Siles, Lindon Robinson, Israel Cuéllar & Sheila LaHousse
This study evaluates the important role that social capital plays in the Latino immigration process into the Grand Rapids, MI metropolitan area. Demographic data published by the U.S. Bureau of the Census shows that the number of Latinos moving to Grand Rapids has increased considerably during the last decade. Data drawn from a survey of 100 Latino immigrant heads of household living in the area were used evaluate how Latino immigrants use social capital in the process of immigration. The results of this study show that Latino immigrants use their social capital, especially bonding social capital, during the entire process. Job opportunities, family members already living in the area, and better educational opportunities for their children attract immigrants to the region. In general, Latino immigrants reported being very happy living in their new community and over 90% reported feeling welcomed by other community members. Churches turn out to be important centers of activities for the Latino community. Besides the religious services that they offer, churches serve as centers for social activities, informational services, primary health care providers, and support for their own schools. A high percentage of Latino immigrants’ income is reinvested in the community as a result of purchases of basic items. In addition, approximately 10% of their income is sent back to their hometowns as remittances to support family members left behind. The study concludes that social capital plays an important role for many Latinos who migrate to the Grand Rapids area.
Isidore Flores, Ann V. Millard & K.C. Donnelly
This report looks at the health and environmental threats to colonia residents living along the U.S. Mexico border in the Rio Grande Valley. Colonias are highly impoverished and usually isolated and unincorporated settlements. Thus, inhabitants of colonias are usually disconnected to the U.S. medical system and only receive medical treatment once their condition becomes severe. Ranking as the second poorest county in the country, Hidalgo county is home to a large medically isolated population. This study is limited to the area north of the U.S.-Mexico Border and south of Highway 83 (main highway in the Valley). The project served 33 colonias comprised of 593 adults and 516 children where each was loaned a First Aid kit. This project served basic health needs, however, it also exposed more severe health needs in isolated colonias such as diabetes, dialysis, heart and circulatory system related conditions, wounds that will not heal, and environmental factors.
Pablo Forni, Marcelo Siles & Lucrecia Barreiro
El concepto de capital social es profusamente utilizado en ciencias sociales desde la década del noventa a partir de las contribuciones de autores como Bourdieu, Coleman, Putnam y Portes, y constituye probablemente una de las innovaciones más prometedoras de la teoría social contemporánea. En años recientes, ha generado un importante debate académico respecto de su definición y, consecuentemente, respecto de las dimensiones e indicadores adecuados para su análisis empírico. Paralelamente, se ha vuelto componente importante de las formulaciones de los organismos multilaterales, las agencias de cooperación e incluso parte del discurso de dirigentes políticos, funcionarios y periodistas al referirse a los problemas de las sociedades latinoamericanas y sus posibles soluciones, ya que el concepto aparece como especialmente apto para la elaboración de políticas orientadas a la inclusión. A partir de un breve recorrido por la evolución teórica del concepto, la formulación de algunas controversias conceptuales y el acercamiento a una definición operativa del mismo, el presente trabajo se centra en la búsqueda de una metodología adecuada para su análisis en contextos de exclusión social de la Argentina y el resto de Latinoamerica. The concept of social capital is frequently used the in social sciences since the decade of the 1990s, based on contributions by Bourdieu, Coleman, Putnam, and Portes, and is probably one of the most promising innovations of contemporary social theory. In recent years, it has generated a significant scholarly debate regarding its definition and, consequently, the suitability of its dimensions and indicators for empirical analysis. At the same time, it has become an important component of the formulations of multilateral organizations, agencies of cooperation, and even part of the discourse of political leaders, public officials, and journalists when they are referring to the problems of Latin American societies and their possible solutions, since this concept is especially suitable for the elaboration of policies aimed at inclusion. From a brief review of the concept’s theoretical evolution, the formulation of some conceptual controversies, and the approach to an operational definition of it, this work focuses on the search for a suitable methodology for the contextual analysis of social exclusion in Argentina and the rest of Latin America.