By Angel Galvan
Is the Mexican populace in Cleveland non-existent or just dormant? Why else the cacophony of silence? Well, this Mexican giant needs to wake up because it represents the larger 34 to 40 million out of the total 55 million Hispanics in the US, and Mexicans are regularly on the daily menu of the mainstream news, and have so many issues and opportunities for their leadership to tackle.
The Hispanic community, in Cleveland, are well organized and formidable. But Puerto Ricans (7.4%), not Mexicans (0.9%), are the dominant Hispanic ethnic group in the CLE. Puerto Ricans have a wonderful culture, but much different from the rich Mexican culture.
One exceedingly significant difference, and to the Boricua’s good fortunes, they are considered US citizens. Another, is that they do not share the many nightmarish trials and tribulations as well the daunting challenges that haunt Mexicans and immigrants…legal, economic, political are just a few areas containing many obstacles.
Mexicans often lament for a place exclusively their own and a voice in the community. And, until more recently, the Mexican community has been slowly shrinking along with Cleveland…many preferring to live in the inconspicuous confines of suburban and rural life. With the only visible signs of a Mexican legacy in Cleveland, the ‘Club Azteca,’ standing empty on Detroit rd. That is, until a few month ago when a few legacy members initiated a ‘Club Azteca’ revival. And, at about the same time, the ‘Hispanic Alliance’ organized a proxy group ‘Comite Mexicano de Cleveland.’ Although both organizations are directed by a Hispanic mix (maybe 50% Mexican), and not an invested and controlling Mexican board, they are a welcome additions to what was once a void and no Mexican representation.
Included in the mix, and after decades of disappointment, developing ‘Cleveland Mexican Cultural Committee,’ an independent representation of ‘Mexican for Mexican’ advocacy group formed by Ivan Gomez and Angel Galvan, are looking to make grand strides for the Mexican community in Cleveland and NEO. Once in its completed state the ‘Cleveland Mexican Cultural Committee will boast a 100% Mexican Board to complement its invested interest in the Cleveland Mexican Community.
But, more recently, to show support and its commitment to the Cleveland Mexican community, aspiring nonprofit ‘Cleveland Mexican Cultural Committee’ (CMCC) premiered a new initiative – As part of the Cleveland Humanities Festival, on April 3rd 2017, President Vicente Fox – Mexico (2000-2006) was scheduled to speak at CWRU Building Bridges: Fixing the Immigration Issues and Strengthening U.S. – Mexico Relations forum, CMCC collaborated with ‘Cleveland Humanities Festival’ to promote and network within the Mexican and immigrant community to engage and include them in this important forum.
And, for a fortunate few, 30 Mexican leaders and friends were issued invitations to reserved front row seating – to include a ‘meet and greet’ photo op with Mexican Presidente Vicente Fox. Estimates of over 100 Mexicans, Hispanics, and Hispanic students attended (mostly immigrants) with a 700 sold out capacity.
This arrangement and ‘meet and greet photo op’ was part of a “Mexicanos 4 Mexicanos” advocacy initiative and the ‘Cleveland Mexican Cultural Committee’s effort to launch new and innovative initiatives for significant positive change in Cleveland’s Mexican community…And, through exclusive Mexican representation to ensure the integrity of all results, growth and empowerment of the Mexican community.
This dormant Mexican Giant is rousing…and its potential, in Cleveland, is enormous!
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