Granby area Hispanic community sees exodus
Grand COUnty, CO Coloraod
The Latin community in Grand County has been affected by the bad economy in recent years, as many Hispanic families who came here searching for work had to leave when they did not find job opportunities.
Yvonne Morales and Antonio Acevedo, managers of Granby Jones Trailer Park, have seen these changes.
“It’s hard for [the Latinos who come to Grand County]. I don’t know why they are here,” said Yvonne. “If it’s difficult for us, who speak English and Spanish, it’s more difficult for them.”
“Families come because the economy here was good years ago,” she added. “But they come now and buy homes, but they end up losing them and they are forced to move out.”
Managing the trailer park, Antonio and Yvonne have seen many families come and go. Yvonne feels that it makes the “families’ lives difficult having them move into Grand County” and then leaving so soon.
“Families can’t afford to live here so they go back to Mexico,” said Antonio.
Yvonne has lived in Grand County for about seven years and Antonio has lived here for over 11 years. They said have felt the difficulties living in Grand County and plan to move out of Grand County in a year or so.
When families arrive here, they must enroll their kids in school. Many families know little English, which means that it is difficult for their children to adjust to the language at the schools.
When Daniel Cuen, senior at Middle Park High School, moved to Grand County from Sonora, Mexico, in 2008, he “was nervous and didn’t know English.”
“It’s hard to move. I had no friends and that’s a horrible feeling,” said Daniel. “Now, I’m more comfortable. I know everyone and I know more English.”
Daniel came to Grand County to live with his mother. He came to learn English and to get an education. He plans to move back to Mexico when he graduates.
Here for the long haul
Some Mexican families have been able to find work and settle down in Grand County. Parents such as Elizabeth Acevedo have found comfort in residing in Granby.
“As a mother, I am comfortable,” she said. “Granby is nice for my kids.” Elizabeth and her family have lived in Grand County for longer than eight years. She feels that the schools are “safe and calm” and that it is a nice place for her children to grow up.
She and her family have no plans to move elsewhere, for the time being. Elizabeth understands that “kids suffer with changes of moving to a new place.”
Jose Luis and Pily Ortega have also settled “comfortably” in Grand County. In October 2009, they bought La Guarecita, a Mexican restaurant in downtown Granby, and made it Jose’s where they continue to sell Mexican, as well as American, food. Jose Luis and Pily feel “good” living in Grand County.
“We have thought about moving out,” said Jose Luis. “But we want to settle down here and then see later on in the future.”
Jose Luis has also seen the Latin community shrink since he and his family have been here. He said he thinks that is because of the lack of work.
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