Menudoization of Gumbo: The Arrival of Latinos in Cajun Land

Hilario Molina, Texas A&M University
Rogelio Saenz, Texas A&M University

Over the last couple of decades, Latinos found their way into places beyond the traditional Latino enclaves, most notably in the South and the Midwest. Most of these new-destination areas have historically had few Latinos. One state that represents an anomaly is Louisiana, a state that continued to have a relatively small Latino population while surrounding its southern neighbors attracted many Latinos. Hurricanes over the last several years, however, have changed the situation, with many Latinos making their way to Louisiana to engage in reconstruction activities. While much attention has focused on New Orleans following the devastation spawned by Hurricane Katrina, other more rural parts of the state have a longer history of attracting Latinos in their rebuilding efforts. In particular, the Cajun area of the state has attracted two waves of Latinos following two hurricanes—Hurricane Lili in the early 2000s and Hurricane Rita in 2005.

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Presented in Poster Session 6