Latino Conference Convenes
The state's Latino population has more than doubled in the past 15 years, and many residents hope to make their new neighbors feel more welcome.
Domingo Martinez calls mid-Missouri home.
"It is beautiful and I love it, I have lived here for over 20 years," he said."The main purpose of the conference is to share best practices about newcomers."
The conference is in its 5th year. Immigration,the current hot issue, has federal and state legislators considering newlaws to limit the growing Latino population entering the U.S.
"In my dreams, actually, I would hope that members of the state and federal legislature would come and really get better informed about the positive aspects of immigration," said Anne Dannerbeck, conference chairperson.
The conference, which runs through this Friday, features discussions on challenges Latinos face in Missouri,including education, health care and civil rights.
"We do need to have educated people. We need to have insured people. We need to have healthy people because it will be good for our children and our grandchildren," Martinez said.
Organizers expect 300 people to attend this week's conference at the Stoney Creek Inn on South Providence Road.