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  • Edición impresa de Agosto 4, 2015

Elkhart County 4-H Fair opened on July 24 and according to the Fair’s blog more than 255,000 people came to the fair this year; this is bit lower than 269,064 in 2014, or 280,175 in 2013. Nevertheless it continues to be one of the largest fairs in the country. As noted it opened on July 24 and closed on August 1, but the most outstanding event for the locals is the parade, which took place on Sunday, July 26, starting at 1:30 pm. The theme of this year’s parade was “Planning Toward a Bright future”.

The 4-H is a global network of youth organizations. In United States it engages young people across the nation to learn citizenship, leadership and life skills and is often associated with county and state fairs. In its beginning the focus was to enhance public school education and be more connected to rural life. The fair, and in particular the parade, reflects more than the rural life due to the participation of businesses, organizations, political candidates, churches, schools, clubs, etc.

Therefore the parade shows the local micro-cosmos composition of a particular place.

About 25 years ago in the city of Goshen, where the Elkhart County 4-H parade takes place, there was no presence of Latinos participating in that parade. Twenty years ago, there was a beginning of Latino presence in the parade, but there was not much acceptance of it.

The parade in 2015 almost reflected the presence of the local Latino population. According to the census, the city of Goshen has close to 31,000 people and about one third of them are of Latino origin. The parade showed that Latinos are not only in the factories, but they now are in the school bands, organizations, Latino businesses and they were also present as participants and thousands of spectators.

By now people have realized that Latino life is woven into the general fabric of the city.

The Latino presence, an affirmation of the Spaniard presence in the Americas, precedes the other European countries that arrived much later to colonize the continent.

The US map shows the names in Spanish of many cities, rivers and geographical places that go as far as Canada in the West and all the southern states. Nevertheless, the Latino presence has been associated with newcomers, immigrants and many times the undocumented.

But we may go further into stating who was at the parade, or who is in the United States.

You can no longer say that the many brown faces that appeared in the parade were Latinos. We have a growing population of people who are bi-cultural and biracial, and in many cases multiracial and multicultural.

If you look at a young man whose mother is from El Salvador, the father is from Mexico and he was born here, what should he represent? Or if a young woman born in Indiana to an African-American father and a Dominican mother, what is she? These young people and many others are proudly carving a place of their own in the world, and they are doing it with courage, and ingenuity.

The entire world is showing more and more ‘new people’ who go beyond borders, color and nationalities. Maybe after so many wars and violence that has displaced and continues to displace people throughout the world, finally new people, young people, are creating a new vision that speaks more of a human race, hopefully with more love for others and for the earth.

 

 


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