Celebrating Latino & Hispanic Heritage Month

Thursday, October 10, 2019

LatinIowanIowa and the nation sets aside time between September 15 and October 15 to recognize and celebrate the rich heritage, culture, and the contributions made by Latinos and Hispanics during Latino & Hispanic Heritage Month. 

This celebration started in September, 1968 when President Lyndon Johnson was authorized by Congress to proclaim National Hispanic Heritage Week, and directed that this week included September 15 and 16 to celebrate the anniversaries of independence for the Latin American countries of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Mexico. In 1988, the National Hispanic Heritage Month was established. According to DataUSA, about 14.7% of Ottumwa's population is of Latino or Hispanic heritage.

League of United Latin American Citizens 377 (LULAC), which formed in Ottumwa just last year, has goals to work more aggressively in civic engagement and voter participation. According to LULAC member Patty Galvan Ramos, other goals include promoting education, working with young people as they develop into leadership roles, and providing new and different opportunities for personal and professional growth. 

The September 20th event VIVA Ottumwa! was a collaborative effort for LULAC, JBS and the Ottumwa YMCA to celebrate diversity in the community. In addition, all funds raised were earmarked for student scholarships- making higher education a priority for all cultures. 

Information from New American Economy, a keynote speaker at the recent PDI Conference in Sioux City, and bipartisan research and advocacy organization fighting for smart federal, state, and local immigration policies that help grow our economy and create jobs for all Americans, tells us some additional facts:
  • In 2015, Hispanic households contributed almost $215 billion to US tax revenues as a whole, including almost $76 billion in state and local tax payments
  • Also in 2015, Hispanic households contributed $101.8 billion to Social Security and another $25.3 billion to Medicare's core trust fund
  • In fact, between 1996 and 2011, immigrants contributed $182 billion MORE to Medicare than they received
Last, but not least, in Iowa's Congressional District 2 (Loebsack), top industries with the highest share of foreign-born workers include:


Manufacturing                                                           9.5%

Arts, entertainment, recreation, hospitality                7.3%

Professional, scientific, management & admin           6.2%

Education, healthcare, social assistance                     5.8%

There is truly a positive impact of immigration on the Iowa economy, and in the Ottumwa-area economy. Viva  our international population!

Category: (none)

Ottumwa Economic Development Corporation 217 East Main Street Ottumwa, Iowa  52501
Phone 641-682-3465 Fax 641-682-3466 info@ottumwaiowa.com