Cooper/Howard Hispanic/Latino Group
February 24, 2005
Ellis Cafe, Boonville
Attending: Tom White, Raquel White, Tommy White, Jennifer White, Jamie Thompson, Chris Angelo and Art Schneider.
The group welcomed Jennifer White, new Y program director.
Chris Angelo brought Mexican music that the proprietors played throughout the meeting.
English As Second Language: Janie Houf currently has one enrolled in basic ESL and two in advanced ESL. Copies of the ESL books were circulated so that members would have exposure to the content of the materials.
Janie will be addressing the American Association of University Women in April on the ESL program in Boonville.
The irregular schedule at Fuqua has impacted the program potential there. The plant only opens when orders are received. Janie plans to continue her efforts there. She has contacted LaHacienda employees and management about future classes there. There are two issues of the employees: working long hours that limit their interest in taking classes. Janie noted that some employees mentioned wanting to catch up on sleep.
A second factor is that the restaurant’s employees largely come just for a year and then return to Mexico. Their interest is focused on acquiring capital and returning to their homeland. They do not plan to make the Boonville area a long-term home.
It was mentioned in the discussion that some LaHacienda employees are living in Boonville.
Brochure Additions: To broaden the reach of the original brochure welcome Hispanics to Boonville, businesses, churches and social services in Howard County are being added.
International Festival: Art has established a contact with the Hispanic students association at M. U., Domingo Martinez, who recently was hired to work with them. The group does not have a strong organization and Domingo suggested that an international festival involving the Hispanic student group wait until at least this fall. Last year our Cooper/Howard Hispanic group had a booth at the Festival of Lights that had considerable visits. That could be done again.
The mayor sent an e-mail to Art suggesting that the event be cancelled. The mayor’s message noted that even with a lot of publicity there has been difficulty in securing an audience. In addition, the costs would be high and the revenues uncertain.
Jennifer White suggested that the group look at a Global Village concept that the Y is investigating. This could be done in the summer. It was suggested that with the diversity already in town, Leonora from Ecuador, Raquel from Puerto Rico, Rev. Jeff Martin who studied two years in Germany, Chris Angelo who was with the Associated Press in Mexico, Jamie Thompson who has been to Costa Rica, Janie Houf who lived for many years in Japan and others, that much could be done locally.
The group agreed to cancel pursuing an April international festival and dance, but agreed to working with Jennifer in promoting a summer program, date to be announced.
E-Mail Pen Pal Exchange program—Art reported that he has been trying to contact Lisa Brininstool and been unable to since Centro Latino lost its lease at Columbia’s Parkade Plaza. (Art also tried to find the new location after a meeting in Columbia and was unsuccessful.) Art will continue to follow up. There was statewide Extension funding provided through the Central Missouri Extension Region. Art will need to inform the regional director very shortly whether it will be used.
Important Missouri Laws—Jamie noted that a book on important Missouri laws is being translated at UMKC. Jamie has been in contact with Christina Case, who has been a member of our group, about the book. She said the book has been in process for 18 months , but that new legislation, such as concealed weapons, will need to be included. Sylvia Lagos, former M. U. professor of law, had developed several pages that are relevant to immigrants.
Mini-Society—Jamie announced that Mini-Society with Carmen Jones would begin March 10 at Concerned Citizens for the Black Community. Both Jamie and Carmen are certified to lead the course. Jamie explained that the sessions would be once a week over 12 weeks. Kids age eight to 12 will have an opportunity to learn to create a country, start a business, create their own currency and flag. At the conclusion of the program, the youth will use their “earnings” to purchase items.
Next meeting at 5:30 p.m. April 12. Location to be announced.
Meeting adjourned at 7 p.m.