In observance of Cesar Chavez Day, March 31, we want to highlight the stories of our Latinx and immigrant community who have been significant sculptors of the Fort Collins and Larimer County we know today. Cesar Chavez was an American farm worker, labor leader, community organizer, and Latino American civil rights advocate.
Today, we continue to commemorate Chavez’s legacy by bringing the stories of our Latinx community – past and present – to the forefront.
The pandemic has affected everyone in our community, but most heavily on our Latinx & immigrant community. And, it’s the connected and caring Latinx residents who have, once again, rallied to address the needs of their community. From helping distribute food and rent assistance to volunteering to answer phones around the clock for vaccine registration, they toil the soil, much like Chavez and the migrant farm laborers that preceded them.
Betty Aragon-Mitotes, a local Latinx community advocate and the Director of Mujeres de Colores, captured the stories of community members in her documentary, Hispanic Community Voices: The Impact of COVID-19, and she has made this documentary free for the public to watch and learn:
We invite you to watch this 45-minute documentary featuring your own neighbors and community members who also live, work, and play in Larimer County. The Latinx and immigrant community in our county are strong, resilient, and paramount to the success and development of Larimer County.
It is thanks to the Latinx and immigrant community that Fort Collins & northern Colorado is as thriving as it is today.
In the early 1900s, Colorado’s sugar beet industry was the most important cash crop, requiring thousands of field workers to produce each harvest. Farmers and sugar companies actively recruited Mexican workers, with the sugar beet industry becoming the largest employer of Hispanic and Latinx people in the area.
Despite the significant role of these laborers in establishing a thriving local economy, these workers and their families are often left out of mainstream sources of Colorado history. Betty Aragon-Mitotes & Mujeres de Colores are solidifying this history in our community with The Hand that Feeds monument, set to be unveiled in Sugar Beet Park in Fall 2021.
Betty & other community organizers, like The BIPOC Alliance of Larimer County, are working together to make this monument a reality – and one that acknowledges the real people who worked on the land we live on today.
Now through May 1, International Workers’ Day, BIPOC Alliance is hosting a fundraising campaign to engrave the names of 100 beet workers at the monument – one name on each brick of pavement that surrounds the monument.
Honor the legacy of our community – and that of Cesar Chavez – by making a donation today