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Newcomers Welcome: Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony

Aurora is home to immigrants and refugees from around the world. To help them succeed, the city created an ambitious integration plan that focuses heavily on supporting foreign-born entrepreneurs. And for good reason; immigrants and refugees have higher rates of starting new businesses than American-born residents. Throughout the city there are immigrant-owned businesses like food markets, restaurants, beauty salons and transportation companies.

“Aurora, it's welcoming and if you are comfortable, you achieve,” said Ayelech G-Michael. “First impression, you see somebody who look like you, you would be comfortable. I think that's why Aurora (has) a lot of entrepreneur(s).”

G-Michael is one of these entrepreneurs. She came to the U.S. to go to college in 1995 and then moved to Aurora five years later. She has owned a liquor store and a home health agency. Now, she works as an interpreter for medical and law offices, schools and the community. She interprets two Ethiopian languages: Amharic and Tigrinya.

She also performs Ethiopian coffee ceremonies at events around Aurora, including the city’s annual Global Fest.

“That's how I start serving the coffee,” she said. “To show my culture to other very diverse Aurora.”

Credits

The Colorado Dream: Newcomers Welcome is a production from KUNC. It was written and reported by Stephanie Daniel. Editing by Johanna Zorn. This season's theme song was composed by Jason Paton, who also sound designedand mixed the episode. Ashley Jefcoat is the digital editor.

The “American Dream” was coined in 1931 and since then the phrase has inspired people to work hard and dream big. But is it achievable today? Graduating from college is challenging, jobs are changing, and health care and basic rights can be a luxury. I report on the barriers people face and overcome to succeed and create a better life for themselves and their families.