Waukesha’s Latino community continues to keep pace with the growth that has characterized Latino demographics in the last 20 years. About 15,000 Latinos are now Waukesha County residents, and there are very unique qualities ascribed to this community. A significant number of Latinos can trace their Waukesha roots to the early 1920s and 1930s. The vast majority of Latinos who came to Waukesha ended up working in foundries, and a significant number retired from those jobs. There are now many families who are third- and fourth-generation Latinos, and new arrivals continue to join friends and relatives already established in Waukesha.
Author Bio: Walter Sava, Ph.D., has spent most of his working life involved with the Latino communities of Waukesha and Milwaukee. He is the former executive director of La Casa de Esperanza, United Community Center, and Latino Arts, Inc., and is the founder of the Latino Historical Society of Wisconsin. Along with Prof. Joseph Rodriguez, Sava coauthored Latinos in Milwaukee. Anselmo Villarreal is a well-recognized leader in the Latino community and has been executive director of La Casa de Esperanza for the past 15 years. His wide range of contacts in Waukesha’s Latino community has been invaluable in gathering the information and photographs for this publication.
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