Leaders address Hispanic growth in first State of the Hispanic Community in the Magic Valley

TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) Gerardo Orozco, a College of Southern Idaho student, listened as local leaders took to the stage for the first 2018 State of the Hispanic Community in south central Idaho on Tuesday.

The event was hosted by the Idaho Hispanic Chamber of Commerce at the Canyon Crest Event Center.

The event aimed to provide data on the growing rate of the Hispanic population, the challenges some may face and also the accomplishments between businesses and Magic Valleys' chamber of commerce coming together to form an affiliation partnership.

"We're here to listen and learn a little about everyone," Orozco said.

Margie Gonzalez, the Executive Director of the Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs, talked about how business have marketed their goods to the Hispanic community and the growth population.

"Here in the Magic Valley, out of the 190,000 in 2016, Hispanics represent 23 percent of the total population," Gonzalez said.

Those numbers came from the U.S Census Bureau, Gonzalez explained.

Twin Falls Mayor Shawn Barigar was also one of the guest speakers. He brought up the topic of how Hispanic workers earn less than others.

Other speakers included Roger S. Burdick, Chief of Justice of the Idaho Supreme Court, Rick Naerebout, with the Idaho Dairymen's Association, Eulogio Mendoza, an Idaho Latino entrepreneur and Alex Castaneda, a chair member for the IHCC southern chapter.

Students involved in Latinos In Action chapters from The College of Southern Idaho and Magic Valley schools were given the opportunity to engage with local leaders.

Orozco is part of the CSI chapter and he said the group helps him find support and continues to encourage him in achieving his education goals.

"I'm a first generation college student. Not having your older siblings or parents that went, you don't have that support that normally other people have," he said. "Like leadership-type role models that you need. It's a big challenge for a minority to go to college."

Orozco said he's here to let others know what Latinos In Action aims to do.

"Get to know people, let 'em know about the chapter and some of the things that we're doing because Latinos in Action is an organization growing nationwide," Orozco said.

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