In 1990 there were nearly 24,000 people living in Goshen. The number of Latino families fit on the fingers of two hands.
As of the census of 2000, there were nearly 30,000 people. 20% of the population was Hispanic origin.
In 2015, Goshen population is about 33,000 people and 30% are Hispanic.
Allan J. Kauffman was elected Mayor of the City of Goshen on April 1, 1997. Since then, he has been witness of the increasing Latino presence and we have seen him leading the city for 18 years.
This is the brave generation. They came for the first time without knowing the language but with willing hands for work. For a whole generation area factories have been full of men and women of Hispanic origin working long journeys of 10, even 12 hours, in order to support their families.
Today, a portion of this generation has come to tell you that we are grateful because through these years we have seen wonderful things happening in Goshen, all of them being of great, positive impact to our people.
The brave came with their children, who entered the schools the very next day. The children grew up, learned the language and increasingly started to graduate from Goshen High School.
In the year 1990 there were no significant numbers of students from Hispanic origin enrolled to the schools.
In 2015, the statistics show that of 6607 students enrolled in the Goshen Community Schools, 3406 are Latinos, which is equivalent to 51%
This is the winning generation.
Through these years we have never seen even one single student being rejected from the schools due to documentation or legal status. For this we are deeply grateful. We will never forget it.
An extraordinary group of teachers and administrators of Goshen Community Schools have worked really hard to assure that all of our kids are treated with dignity and respect, making real the vision of the schools, a place, “Where learning is valued, students are honored and each person experiences a success and a challenge every day”.
To all who are or have been a teacher, a collaborator, a para-professional, a translator or an administrator of the schools, or school work related in any manner.
For all your work with our kids we are immensely grateful.
For 25 years Latinos have been blessed with affordable care to solve their health problems through the Maple City Health Care Center and the open door policy of Dr. James Gingerich, who everyone knows. James Gingerich represents the health system’s friendly face in Goshen, whose efforts have inspired other projects like the Center for Health and Hope. For this, we Latinos are deeply grateful.
I can’t name all the areas in which Latinos have been welcomed and benefited, but my time is limited. I will mention however, the Goshen Police office, whose treatment of Latino immigrants has been one of respect and gentleness.
Our town looks beautiful, clean and adequate for all ages of residents; parks and recreation programs, sustainability projects, the Farmer’s Market, First Fridays, and all the Good of Goshen that has been planned and created for the benefit of all its residents.
We are grateful for all of this.
Finally, we want to express our gratitude to the Anglo community that has walked in solidarity with our people all these years. You are here today because you took the risk to welcome the immigrants of the world, so our mutual task of knowing and respecting each other has been less painful.
Together, we’ve worked to make this city with a biblical name a place with multiple work opportunities, where artists can create and families find a healthy and friendly environment to raise their children. Some have seen Goshen as a city model for the country. We believe that working together we can make Goshen a century 21st city where each individual is seen as a responsible world citizen.
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