Sending money home is one way that immigrants show love for their families. For some local workers, that means a trip to La Mexicana, a store at 709 S. Roan St., Johnson City.
Carlos Martinez is one patron of the downtown store. Whenever he has enough money from his factory job, he sends as much as he can home. “In Mexico my dad is not working right now so it is important for my family,” said Martinez, who has been working in America more than four years.
Come November, some members of Unicoi County’s Hispanic community intend to make their voices heard by voting in the presidential election. But getting people to the polls is the first step.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Hispanics represented 6 percent of voters in the 2004 election, when 47 percent of Hispanic citizens cast their ballots. That year, President George W. Bush won 44 percent of the Hispanic vote, compared to 35 percent in 2000.
In 1973 migrant farm workers, who move with the seasons, were families that worked under the supervision of a crew leader. But since the 1970s the family situations of people who do this kind of work have evolved as much as the farm itself.
Goat: it’s what could be for dinner. But, would folks in East Tennessee be willing to put beef aside, and give the other “red meat” a try?
Goat meat, or “chevon” as it is known in Spanish, has long been a staple of diets in the Caribbean, Latin America, the Middle East, North Africa and Southeast Asia. Surely there’s a reason. Could it be that it’s better for humans than other meats?
In Bernie Rodriguez’s English for Speakers of Other Languages class, students know the ESOL program is their ticket to a better life in the United States.
“They have to have a purpose,” Rodriguez said. “To work toward a GED [General Educational Development test], to find employment, to upgrade their skills.”
Although most attending are from Mexico, the class is a virtual melting pot of cultures, with students from Africa, Europe, Asia and several Latin American countries. Students like Rafael Garcia, a native of Mexico now living in Erwin, said the class is the most important step toward achieving goals he set when he moved to the U.S.
On a Sunday afternoon in an old stone church in Erwin, a congregation was singing and worshiping as usual. This might seem routine, but there was one important difference at this church: The service was performed in Spanish.
Iglesia de Dios Pentecostes, or the Pentecostal Church of God, is a unique congregation in Erwin, at least for now. Victor Terrazas and his wife, Sarai, are the founders and pastors.
“We saw the need in the Hispanic community for God, so we started [the church],” Terrazas said.
The bell rings. Science Hill High School students crowd the hallways. Among them, five international students head to English as a Second Language class, where they learn American culture, improve their reading and writing skills and get support for other courses.