Colorado Edition: ‘Newcomers Welcome’ episode 2
Aurora is one of the most diverse cities in Colorado. In fact, about one in five residents is foreign born. Over half came from the Americas, mainly Mexico. After that the largest groups hail from Ethiopia, Vietnam, Korea, El Salvador and India. To help immigrants and refugees succeed, the city created an integration plan. It was among the first in the country to do so.
“Our city leaders at the time, intentionally they (made) a very important decision,” said Ricardo Gambetta, manager of Aurora’s Office of International and Immigrant Affairs. “They realize that in the last 20 years, we have a new face of the city.”
To implement the integration plan, Aurora partners with dozens of organizations including Village Exchange Center. The non-profit supports immigrant and refugee communities with a range of services including the Natural Helpers Program which is staffed by volunteers who are immigrants themselves.
“The natural helpers are like this bridge between their country and here,” said José Gómez , who manages the Natural Helpers Program. “ I feel that one of the biggest things that has kept our immigrant or refugee community, you can say down, is the lack of knowledge.”
The Colorado Dream: Newcomers Welcome episode two examines the city’s immigrant integration plan. Meanwhile, more than 15 years earlier, Salwa Mourtada Bamba gets a job and enrolls at the local community college as she settles into her new life in Aurora.
Colorado Edition is hosted by Yoselin Meza Miranda and produced by the KUNC newsroom, led by news director Sean Corcoran. Web was edited by digital operations manager Ashley Jefcoat.
The mission of Colorado Edition is to deepen understanding of life in Northern Colorado through authentic conversation and storytelling. It's available as a podcast on iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.
Colorado Edition is made possible with support from our KUNC members. Thank you!
Our theme music was composed by Colorado musicians Briana Harris and Johnny Burroughs. Other music in the show by Blue Dot Sessions.