Diversity on the Plains: Harmonizing cultures

By  | 

North Dakota is seeing population increases. The state has the fastest growth rate of Hispanics.

For the last two days we've talked about the economic reasons why they've come here and the challenges they face.

In Diversity on the Plains, Daniela Hurtado tells about the goodwill created by populations with roots thousands of miles apart.

As the country continues to see an influx of people of all walks of life, races, and culture, our state is no stranger to the changes we're seeing.

More Hispanics are living in North Dakota than ever before.

Most are in the Bakken where some have made it a temporary visit, but many are proud to call North Dakota their forever home.

On the third part of this series you'll hear about the cultural awakening many have felt through music, food, and language.

Harmonizing two cultures.

When the Williston Downtowners Association placed pianos across the city hoping to promote art and bring the community togeth, they didn't anticipate striking a chord between people of vastly different backgrounds.

"Estoy de parte de la diversidad. Me gusta mucho que haya gente de toda clase," dijo Nora Reyes. Translation: "I'm on the side of diversity. I love that there are all kinds of people here," said Nora Reyes.

All around the city, cultures are coming together, adding to the "local flavor."

Thousands migrating to the state for work, and staying to provide a better future for their families.

"We're kind of to a place culturally here in the Williston area where people aren't really so much about us and them. You know, there's this more growing collectiveness that it take a lot of us and it's going to take more of us to come here and to fill these jobs. And the solutions are not to put distance between us but to come together," said Job Service North Dakota Williston Manager Paula Hickel.

Some say that perspective is like food for the soul.

"El sabor, el hogar, comidas caseras, el sazon es diferente, yo creo que es por eso," dijo Jennefer Rey. Translation: "The taste, the 'homey feeling,' the home cooked meal, the seasoning is different, I think that's why," said Jennefer Rey.

Rey is a server at Don Pedro's where they say their customers are from all over.

And their employees bring something a little different to the table.

Restaurant Manager Mohammed Badwan said: "They come here like every time. They come ask for job. They want to live here, they want to stay here. So this is why there's a lot of Latinos here now."

Badwan is the manager and says his employees are from different countries and the joy and positivity they bring is cutting edge.

“Creo que lo tenmos que hacer es abrir la mente, adaptarnos, y recibir todo lo que ellos nos pueden aportar,“ dijo Rey. Translation: "I think we what we need to do is be open minded and adapt and take in anything they can provide, said Rey.

Making strides for inclusivity.

“To say if you don’t do it like we do it, get out of here, well there’s so many ways we do it here now; there’s so many different people and diversity that that’s kind of gone by the wayside,” said Hickel.

As the state becomes more diverse, t's clear they have this message in common.

“We all have to work together no matter about the color of our skin, our language, our cultures,” said Reyes.

A message remains that North Dakota nice aims to make anyone feel welcomed.

Across America the Hispanic population has reached a record 59.9 million.

The Census Bureau projected that in the next 40 years, Hispanic people will compromise nearly 30-percent of the total population.

They’re the largest minority in the U.S.