Posted by: sbilingual | November 15, 2009

Latinos flock to New Orleans

Latinos flock to New Orleans
One of the more surprising demographic changes to New Orleans was the influx of Latino workers who are rebuilding the city.
By Jennifer Liberto,, August 19, 2009

NEW ORLEANS ( — For the first time since it was a Spanish colony some 200 years ago, New Orleans is getting revitalized by Spanish speakers.

One of the more dramatic and immediate impacts of Hurricane Katrina has been the influx of thousands of new Latinos who have moved to the city to detoxify, renovate and rebuild storm damaged roads, flood walls, businesses and homes.

Following a mini-boom in Latinos has been a growing number of Latino-owned businesses, especially in the retail and service sectors.

Two Mexican eateries, Taqueria Guerrero and El Rinconcito, now sandwich a longtime New Orleans Italian ice cream shop, Angelo Brocato’s, in MidCity. A few blocks away, a Latino-owned beauty parlor recently opened.

Before Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans’ Latino population hovered around 3%. Officially, it’s now around 4.5%, according to a 2008 census survey.

That number is sure to grow. Nearly half of all New Orleans area construction workers are Latino, according to a 2006 population study by Tulane University and the University of California at Berkeley. And the number of Hispanic children registered in the Orleans Parish public school system reported nearly doubled, going from 3% up to 5.6%.


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