The celebration of El Puente’s ten years of publication was a tremendous success. It was a success because it was an affirmation of the Latino presence in this area. The Latinos have come to work, study and celebrate life here, with others. Latinos are here to share their cultures and backgrounds.

On March 9, 2002, Mayor Allan Kauffman from Goshen presented us with the key to the city. We accepted it because we saw this gesture as an affirmation of a community that is embracing diversity. We accepted it as a welcoming sign for all the Latino people that have come here to be part of this community.

On the evening of the celebration there were people from many countries, also there were many people from United States. There are other people in the Michiana area who have also worked for change and diversity. There is an open invitation to join in every circle.

In order to participate fully, Latinos may want to consider following closely the coming elections. Voting should be preceded by careful consideration of the platforms that the nominees bring. Also, consideration of how involved the candidates are with the people. But the task is not only through the election, it continues throughout the elected period.

If the elected person has not fulfilled his/her promises, then it is time to nominate someone else. In our countries of origin people usually voted for parties. But I wonder if a vote should be given to some abstract ideals instead of personal commitment.

Latinos are ‘IN’. This is political season once more, and many want to address the public in Spanish. The question is: Does the candidate’s record show a true open door to Latinos? And if so, how effective has his/her participation been?

As I said before, we are agreeing to be here, with all the rewards and all the responsibilities. Let’s keep widening the door for the future generations. Let’s participate.