A concise history of Mexicans in Minnesota, including immigration patterns, cultural and social organizations, businesses, politics, education, and family life. From the colorful supermercados of St. Paul's West Side to the rural communities of the Red River Valley, Mexican Americans have left an indelible mark on Minnesota's landscape. As one of the state's fastest-growing ethnic groups, Mexican Americans have been part of Minnesota's history since the early years of the last century. The history of Mexicans in the Midwest has been, more than that of any other group of immigrants, a history of working-class people. Railroads, heavy industry, meat packing, and sugar beet production all offered jobs for Mexicans who first came to the region primarily to find work. Welcomed as migrant workers even as they were shunned for being different from the state's dominant Northern European ethnic groups, Mexican Americans have grown deep roots in the state's urban neighborhoods and rural towns. They have sustained a wide range of community, religious, and cultural institutions and introduced traditional foods and conjunto music to their new communities. Author Dionicio Vald's discusses the struggles that these immigrants--particularly migrant workers--have faced in making Minnesota their home. He highlights an unprecedented feature of the late twentieth century, the growth of barrios and colonias in communities outside the metropolitan area.
About the Author
Dionicio Valdes teaches history at Michigan State University. He is the author of Barrios Nortenos: St. Paul and Midwestern Mexican Communities in the Twentieth Century and Al Norte: Agricultural Workers in the Great Lakes Region, 1917-1970.