WWL>Topics>>12-16 1:10pm Angela, Latino New Orleans

12-16 1:10pm Angela, Latino New Orleans

Dec 16, 2013|

Latino New Orleans! Since Katrina, the Hispanic population in New Orleans has skyrocketed. Many Latino’s helped rebuild our city and now they call the Crescent City home. We spoke with Former Executive Director of Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Darlene Kattan, Founder of the N.O. Hispanic Heritage Foundation, George Fowler, and Chef Adolfo Garcia. Where do they live, work and play? Are they accepted into our culture and have they embraced ours? Are you grateful or resentful they’re here? And, if you are one of our NEW Hispanic citizens, do you feel loved or loathed? Also, how does immigration play into the equation?

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

It is such a gorgeous day this to -- is truly perfection blue skies cool crisp Christmas around the corner he just does not get better. And isn't an interesting how we sort of put that game -- that we're not gonna worry about it it's over and look forward. Absolutely magnificent today and that's why we're gonna do a special show something I've wanted to do for a while. Since Katrina the Hispanic population has skyrocketed New Orleans. It's thought that 33000. Plus people are here up 57%. In the past decade. Many Latinos helped rebuild our city coming from. All parts of Mexico central and South America Honduras Nicaragua Guatemala Brazil. They helped rebuild our homes our schools and our city's infrastructure. And now they call New Orleans home. -- they live work and play. Are they accepted into our culture. Are re enjoying mayors. While some locals are grateful to the Hispanics who really helped save -- sitting some are resentful. Today we're going to talk about the Hispanic community with those who -- in many ways leading. Joining us is Darlene tan former executive director of the Hispanic chamber of commerce of Louisiana. And just a human dynamo -- George Fowler on the phone founder of the New Orleans Hispanic Heritage Foundation. On the executive board of the World Trade Center and a very well known attorney and Adolfo Garcia. Only in the super chef and restaurant tour and I cannot thank you all enough for being witness. Everybody there event OK news do word and or Dario and hello everyone -- Or only -- -- -- Why is this that's exactly -- But not this is this is going to be a fun show we we really have a very strong history. Of a Spanish culture. I mean clearly we flew under the flag of Spain for forty years so it's not like it's new but in reality for for modern times. After the really the big wave from Cuba. In the sixties. We you know I think it was post-Katrina that most of us have seen the big influx of Hispanic. -- and I wanted to comment when you were starting off some of your remarks or he said over 33000 Hispanics are. That's what is deemed to be the new arrivals has yet seen because actually we are over a 100000. And I Hispanics here in New Orleans and if you ask any ten people you get ten different answers as to the exact number but there are no really hard. There's no hard data. Because no one has really tracked with boots on the ground and even the latest census in 2010. Was greatly under reported because the participation level by Hispanics was very very -- So a George do you have any thoughts on -- on numbers. I think Darlene is right and and you know that -- know exactly numbers difficult. That is pretty significant population I also think that a large number of the Latin Americans. That help rebuild those cities still helping. May be afraid to report themselves because they immediately go to. One of the realities of our situation. And we're gonna talk later about that situation and talk about an immigration but I really kind of wanted to paint a picture of where you wall in this incredible community see the community. And so you've seen -- the great influx. Post-Katrina and again thank heavens they came. We would not have groups -- other buildings and not have many things. And how very lucky that some have chosen to stay. And build homes here for themselves. So. From your perspective all three of -- what do you think the status. Of the Hispanic community is today. Note that is -- I'm really proud to be part of the community. I'm bears Anglo name or book I think it would explain that there was the English family -- Cuba generations ago but it. -- -- I've I've just real proud of the work a bit to Latin Americans do in this -- and no -- well used to work for. The wonderful immigration -- in this city you know worked for him. You know we're we're all working together hand and we can't -- or Drupal community. Of people that that Hispanic Heritage Foundation nothing we have board members. From you know maybe twenty different Latin American countries I -- -- darling talked about it. As the chamber of commerce and an adult was fed all the so it it's been -- this in a community and I think hysteria. An honest community is very trusting community. And it community it really contributes a lot to be a mixture of New Orleans and I'm try I'm proud to consider myself a Latin American here in the war. -- proud at all. Well it really torture me not being called. A Latino in it and in the war as it sits there. Well community. -- Kennedy and you know explosions. Cuban boat off the lead -- A hundred. Under. It you know we ought to. Kind of joke places where it came from but once we get your you know world shortly here -- -- know we're indoors in your book on Latin discredit. And -- And and I think. You know we we come together you don't you. And -- you know what -- -- a book. -- -- -- And a and a and the home -- would early -- with the Hispanic chamber Carter's children got a -- critical airport got a it is a lot of new people that are common in this. Think -- you know at least meet personally I try to cooperate in all of the people that. -- and help out and into what we do. And -- could do all users were more recently your work -- Solo home -- -- took Joseph -- do you -- you know and off net debt you know what city. Where it is you know all of these new legal immigrants that are that are actually don't try like maybe this is you know. Years ago when Whitney gamer even longer. This complete. So it's it could be you know part of the but there's solutions also you know Carter it's ought to be part of you know. The all of the community go beyond election. You know it's interesting I'm I'm really talking to three leaders. In the community and yet I read an article and I can't I didn't Raikkonen man's name who said that but he said. The -- Latino community community has been hidden in a way you end up because it didn't feel like it had power. Where in other cities brands like Miami and other Los Angeles. Over the years that power has grown. In its economic power and is it became more established. Kind of where do you think. We are without totally yeah I would like to speak to that. Because. I think that one of the major differences in the Hispanic or Latino community here in New Orleans vs other cities is that first of all. New Orleans as a city is much smaller than cities like Houston San Antonio Miami overall were much smaller and equally then the Hispanic population is much smaller so whereas in Houston it might be 60% Latino. Here in New Orleans it's about 14% so it's a much smaller population. And that's been coming since the late eighteen hundreds actually my father came here to go to boarding school as a child. And so we have for example in the case of Hondurans and nicaraguans and maybe ten generations here they're very -- traded in assimilated into the society. But as you know years go on and we continue to have immigrants. Part of the problem is that he wants as much smaller so there's they're not as large community so there's not as much. Power and influence secondly we're not predominately from one country whereas in Houston it's Mexicana Miami's Cuban. In New Orleans we are a mix of central Americans the largest being Hondurans were considered New Orleans is called the second largest city -- indoor event that say credit up. See -- Hondurans and then nicaraguans and then you have the Cubans and and Colombians and then a whole big mixed Dominican Republic almost every country. Is represented but Hondurans are by far the largest and that being from different countries. On the one hand while we all share a language in common core values and our cultures we're also very different and nationalistic so you get a group together and got. So it's very hard to get everybody on one page sometime. But also a factor that I think played a very important role here. And my father was an immigration lawyer for fifty years and I worked with him and I witnessed it firsthand. -- and other cities the immigration offices had a welcoming attitude here there were very harsh mean spirited and cold hearted. Causing so many people that were immigrants here to just lay low and keep their nose under the radar screen and work hard and they were largely invisible. As we move forward after Katrina. I think that. We could call our community here particularly on the business side and emerging. Community and I'm very proud of what they have done and whereas a lot of people here and aware of they think that every -- from Mexico or they think that everybody is in construction that is not the case they fill every facet they do work in construction. Were -- not the that would be living in a box under the bridge I always say we're tremendously indebted to them. But there housekeepers and hotels and work in the restaurants they raise their children they did a beautiful landscaping they work in the stores. They work in every single sector from. The most humble to the most educated and I am so very proud of all of them and a lot of people don't know we have a very significant. Colombian medical community here in Portland -- was the result of the -- changed. Between the medical school of Tulane in the medical school and college Columbia. So they are her there. A lot of Colombian physicians here. We are talking about the Hispanic the ever growing Hispanic community in our community. And certainly Katrina abroad in many and fortunately many of them have chosen to stand and I understand that there's been sort of the not so much in the city as is is in Kenner. And that there's -- they've moved to the suburbs. Probably better house singer you know with senator senator and that that Kenner is being very helpful well. It's its upward mobility you know the Hispanics in the fifties and sixties were mostly -- city area along magazine street. Then and they move to Terry town which is the first upward mobility. And then this Kennard developed in the seventies. They started moving out there and how large numbers there and that's considered Hispanic country and Jefferson Parish. Has the highest number of Hispanics in the state living in Jefferson Paris. I wanna talk to Adolfo you're such a success. If she says you worthy Emeril hook hook up what could be Hispanic world we love that -- kingdom your building. And you found I mean you worked very hard to misunderstand -- and clearly building an empire is a lot is a lot of work. But what now that you see and understand great many of great restaurants Hispanic restaurants have popped up all over from -- to New Orleans. But this has got to be a good thing for you. Well I think and as you know more Hispanics into the city you don't small sort of -- -- and in. You know during Katrina Cochran you'll be rebuilding the city home. -- sort of a big explosion that person will remember all the cart so what -- the putra the they'll go to use or wherever they worry Atlanta. In agreement that they haven't even the workers or here. And then eventually got little guys actually there are other people you -- you'd cited a more restaurants. And I'll. I think you know we saw being -- -- -- right in the be -- a lot of you know went to the next ambassador a lot of state you know law. You know probably would have -- who's here. In those sheiks who can't now will probably see that -- what it's because in all these people. That they came conceding we're here to work at it. You know and and they go to addressed reader you know another hurricane Carter. And -- a lot and state and that they established restaurants -- we do a lot more of well. It it was my understanding that in Jefferson Parish and -- on my brain is. Thinking about this that they banned the truck's wrecked and yanked some -- said that's okay will open restaurants and dragged. Like the -- ritual goes over. On Roosevelt of course but won't eat all it was the being painted. EE EE startled truck and started to the ball around -- and Paris and -- -- Orleans. And then came back and he got -- spot and now he's gotten right so he serves. Don't know what to know. You want anyone cook food in June if it isn't actually did could do in the truck you know and and there -- some racial and poems and two controversial law. You know law. We shall always -- and parish. Treaty that did it and you know I think. It is pretty clear. That when you don't chasing. You know summons some old trucks and not others or you don't normally do that -- it in an -- Egyptian girl. Mean you know. Well I think a lot -- a lot of problems to call 800 -- and communication you know that's probably use. OK it is greatly to do you know it could be and where the problem. You know a darling was saying in it which is such a wonderful thing. Probably to help in a situation like that when you talk about communication issues. Is this resource and technology senators on airline pilot and only one in the state right. It's called when I was with the chamber we created the Hispanic business resources and technology center in 2006. And in 2008 we moved it to the campus have -- got a community college and airline drive next to the saints training facility in the separate stadium in everything. And out of that center we operate -- you know. While I was there are started at we operate the only bilingual workforce training. Program in the state. And its web based so that it's very flexible for people that are working but need to get a better job in need to study. So they can study web based or they can come to the center and work with the instructor that we have there. And it's modules of study it's it would employing a phenomenal technology a software that we have their -- as -- And so people start -- in Spanish and English it's soft skills. Meaning that if somebody wants to learn wants to work in the culinary industry we're not gonna teach them how to make gumbo. We're gonna teach them the language of the culinary arts so that they can go to a restaurant and learn how to make the gumbo there from the shot so it's soft skills. But as time goes by the Spanish keeps falling away and and results after on average about eighteen months. Is that they are able to do a job effectively. In English not perfectly -- -- not be perfect but effectively. So that they will be able to handle a job in English on a job site and we. Help. Companies recruit a lot of people that come out of our program to put them in jobs to help that company to serve overall Hispanic community that are customers of those companies. And well you know a lot -- room yes. You weren't yet. Just when is it something that. But I think that we can also focus on the number of well Latin American leaders that have moved into our city. -- have been tremendous. Things to try to bring Latin America close for true. All of dug -- -- of pan American life was disappearance of this. Moved in a few years ago and what he's done in an American life is nothing but little pollution. But it brought top people from all over Latin America to New Orleans and so -- Americans. The note that much greater success than it was. Before he came on board any but he he didn't come alone with him and again children have been. But he brought. Many executives. I remember attending. The conference not about a year ago and he had like 600. Executives from Latin America coming here which so we can't forget. The influence Latin American business people. Living in the war -- to have on. Or tries to prove Latin America. America I can go along with you know movement was better that I miss so critical corporation. Board is full of -- combined company in the United States. He's very active here in a variety of causes you spoke at the World Trade Center. So or or Latin Americans here. Or they work at did you know as workers were there also businessman my black core I can produce a part of many many others and they -- and community community. But there are no material -- got a wonderful company and you know I think that the feature performances into quick side. To Latin America might make a couple points to do things. You know we're in the energy business here in -- and Louisiana and so a lot of our companies. Work in Latin Americans in the countries that are oil producing countries like Colombia. Countries like in Argentina. And in Mexico where about. I think experience booming in New Orleans. Simply do the fact of the Mexicans. Are about to talked private industry to participate in the -- -- all gas business. And as George -- was was mentioning. Plucked out mistress who catch -- brought to pan American life has been phenomenal for this community. And Darlene says but there are others like the great nick design doctor Nicholas aside from Argentina. He was the founder of that LSU neuroscience center of excellence and without that I don't think would be having this whole bio science by a medical under nominal down Tuesday. And that's briefly he was awarded the the other cut -- a few weeks ago. That is durable and yes the whirlwind and he's he does everything right -- and but it is the movie is efforts to increase. The media and the ability to vote belongs. To provide medical services but particularly in certain areas and connect -- But I I think that's where it's really what darling is also saying is. So many of these people have just assimilated so beautifully we don't think in terms of either Hispanic and a sense they're just very very successfully whatever that it. But what we need to kind of jumped just a little bit -- go back to some of these other leaders. Especially George on the issue of immigration. The -- just a program darling which is talking about you have to be documented to join that program. But there are many undocumented workers and what what is the answer to this. I think the -- and two you know be found in the next presidential election. I mean -- of them involved in the bid and that and some Marco Rubio a Cuban American. Candidate. They -- taken the position. Anti immigration. But. This year and realize -- Mitt Romney personally. And here in all of it and and he said he would not -- today Hispanics told me you'll who'll be president of the United States -- prophetic in that. So we have a growth in the immigration. Boaters. From -- voters from the immigration group group particularly Latin Americans. -- they're going to be very important the next presidential election I don't see the Republicans getting the White House back. Unless so those who are anti immigration. You know doctor stance on the I'm in favor of you know both -- carefully controlled immigration. And I am in favor of letting people. Corporate produces in this country stay in this country that's my view on. Well I mean there are so many here who have helped rebuild the city who now continue to work at various levels. And the question is just that what you said George should they be allowed in their already productive citizens. I think we're heading towards that you know I mean I don't you know as I was so would President Obama did try to get to Latin American votes and and he got him. And -- we -- Mitt Romney. Not -- needed to do it and reported it got him. So I think that the next presidential candidates are. On the Republican Party is gonna have a different view of it amazed me the wrong way to look at it I'm just look at that reality. You know -- of the presidential candidates two of them are. Cuban Americans dead crews in the locker room view and are they think about and then there of their family were immigrants just like kind. And I can do is confusion refugees show. I'm not really wanted to be opposed to people come into this country who want him to come here illegally but those are here already here will we have a situation. You know for whatever. Reason we allow them in the country then that they have families here in the country that work and in this country. So would we have to do something about them is. And I am pretty sure no words can end up -- to a lot of them have become American citizens and a mile -- from is preparing for the and you know we are -- immigration lawyers and a different offices in anticipation of that happening but I don't see it going in the other way. Well I think it's important for people to hear us in this community. But the numbers that have grown that the continued to work because there is that image and it's wrong. But were they come in and their on the dole and and that really isn't -- -- and now it yes but we get locked into that thinking. Vs looking at oh my gosh. They they wanna stay and they wanna continue to produce. So what I say as -- hardworking people yes. Authority people you know they'll work from early in the morning and one -- to have some fans gave the -- my house. You know meet -- in -- chicken and rice station had. I ordered indeed it's slowly maybe it is there's been like my -- convinced that I could also. Today. They -- they -- working in the -- eating -- the broke my heart. Because I know that there were there were from Mexico and I know they came. Do very quiet they would say anything they were so afraid you know. That they it to be shipped -- -- you know what you would do well that would do -- Angeles trying to save money district. And do their families back home. Where there's very poor and they can't make anything at all and you know I'm you know I'm. I just feel a feel for them and I you know is just as a person -- the benefits of this country you know. I just feel very much for them a field. We should give them an opportunity human beings. I have loved listening to these really the leaders and -- Hispanic community exciting things that are happening the growth of its. But let's talk about what are your concerns. Are there are still issues facing this community. I think they are still issues there'll always be issues it's that element of fear -- unknown. I finds a lot and people will have an anti immigrant sentiment until they meet. Hispanic -- -- well like -- these immigrants but Jose here's. -- the best friend not getting to know one another and breaking those barriers and once you make a connection. Relationships grow from those relationships I think that we can. Find solutions understanding and solutions. George you're feeling the same. Well absolutely. But you know I know of course you probably are problems -- -- community and there's always going to be crazy system it usually. You know it's springs from. Ignorance. About who the other people are so I agree would doling them more -- to know people there don't reflecting your country. Have reverberations. I did about them. You know I'm working now -- the police foundation and and you know I am concerned that presumably -- Latin American workers -- -- or robbed and then they're afraid to testify that we've got to figure out a way to. You know to help them and we'll have to deal with the police so. And -- with the prosecutors have talked to a cancer -- about. So that they you know. Did they don't fear so much is -- going to be deported efficacy. You know accuse someone of having robbed and just. There's two different things I'm not saying that this should be illegally that they appear here and they work hard called live nation's -- steal money. -- that was for. And we did so many stories on -- -- -- blocking ATM machine walking into him to him the cash and they were just very very trapped after had inherited. Doesn't know we've got to deal that would it is a problem. And it's something that you know. -- good deal of change please -- person I'll be talking in about and we did district attorney's. Connection with prosecutions and you know I do do the tough it's tough issues but man these people work so hard and then there. In addition to protect gun in and in particular money. So right and there's something else going on to our contractors very disreputable contractors. That who worked these people in the middle pay them they use them. And they'll and they'll pay them. Enough for comment put up of that. Well -- is that report don't people. A couple of years ago that where these guys have worked for two weeks worked hard -- they were gathered. To be paid and the immigration company payment -- -- -- -- -- 100000 dollars to -- didn't have to pay these people -- Wrong and it really gets outraged about that. -- -- -- you Emmy darling yeah we asked. Again to a group and -- what was. I'm -- you know a lot of people get outraged about it it's doing something about it. We got to get through it number no we don't work harder for communities in. The Darlene and she does stand up for community so and the people you you do he opposed -- To provide a great -- restores communal and I am indebted to you could you make things happen but. You know they're out there are a lot of challenges to two Russian but mostly it's. People learning that they got to treat other people exactly the war will be treated you know. It is simply doesn't make any difference what religion you from that pretty much the golden rule you know. And you know we've we've got to. Being inclusive than. Not exclusive. And not be so fearful that people would come in from another country. Just tickets be appointed job -- -- in the in Louisiana put it -- be firm. For people to come in and work. And I British -- think we have to be more more welcoming to them. -- and that's so true and it's just. We are the melting pot we are the gumbo pot and it we're not like weren't Gary Indiana friends. I don't mean that Gary Indiana but New Orleans is known. Four a community of many different kinds of people and that's been. I think the part that's made -- so interest. In essence our -- since 2007 I work very closely through the chamber with the American society council of the America and they are the preeminent think tank. Four. At Latin American issues and they're based in both Manhattan Andean Washington DC. And they did and very interesting study a year and a half ago they went to 49 different cities in the United States looking at. Whether or not. They had a welcoming or and -- welcoming attitude toward immigrants and the direct impact that created in the economy of those cities. And clearly overwhelmingly. Those cities that had a more welcoming attitude more helpful attitude to immigrants had a much better. Economy then those that did not so I think that we have do you also think in economic terms not just. Cultural and social and immigration but in the economic Lansing Smart we definitely have to think Smart. Well I have loved talked to last hour about the Hispanic community we have a minute and a half and I'd like both adult phone Georgian Darlene. But just to give me your final thoughts on George. Well I'm really excited about bill Latin community hit a wonderful. Community having to get to contribute at every level only you know talk about the construction level. And I think a lot of them aren't -- appealed that so auto leaders coming into the city from Latin American from Miami and letting them to make a difference. I think I'm looking forward to a more trade and business and I would let America. Very good adults. You know how we've got a little bit earlier in the breaker and their sort of -- -- -- issues that we resolve it during. A lack of direction you all at all levels of government and federal -- the local you know video controls. We -- to get a and you know we. Did look at the middle and Latinos you don't win you don't -- pictures -- -- or resolve their own and so. This is very or should be important for the development and the success in this country. I frankly I don't hate in Iraq you are -- such as is George but she Darlene Hutchison lover mother. Doubt my mother who's 88 Thelma and -- and fair hope Alabama with some of her friends listening today I love you mom thanks to you and your friends for listening and I thank you Walt thank you each and every one of -- now let's go to the newsroom.