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From One to Three: The Hopeful Piecing of a Movement

From One to Three: The Hopeful Piecing of a Movement

BY SOMMER SAADI
Ramon Mejia has spent the past 10 years at the helm of an organization intended to quell the violence in his Colombian homeland. He called the group Movement for Peace in Colombia, though even he concedes that membership — at best 40 and at present, merely 12 — hardly justifies the name.

Political Movement Brews in Queens Café

Political Movement Brews in Queens Café

BY SOMMER SAADI
It’s 2:15 p.m. when Freddy Castiblanco sneaks in a side door at Terraza 7 Train Café in Jackson Heights and joins the meeting of the Movement for Peace in Colombia.

It’s an unusually large crowd — 13 people sit in a makeshift circle on distressed wooden barstools and a faded paisley couch. The turnout inspires Ramon Mejia, one of the movement’s founders in 1999, to catalog names as each person introduces him or herself.

Jackson Heights Rivals Manhattan Neighborhoods as Gay Center

Jackson Heights Rivals Manhattan Neighborhoods as Gay Center

BY PAULA NEUDORF
It’s an unlikely spot for a gay club: an unglamorous corner on Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights, Queens. There’s a homely taqueria across the street, and a block north, sari vendors and Middle Eastern shops ply their wares. Working-class families and school kids pass by, unaware of or indifferent to the club’s facade.

Colombia

Colombia

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Population
80,985 people living in New York City were born in Colombia
Source: 2006 American Community Survey

Neighborhoods
Jackson Heights: 11,420
Elmhurst: 8,992
Source: “The Newest New Yorkers Briefing Booklet” (2000), http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/pdf/census/nny_briefing_booklet.pdf

Religion(s)
Catholic

Language(s)
Spanish

History

Social and political factors are the driving forces behind Colombian immigration trends. Colombians fleeing the bloody civil war of the 1950s called “La Violencia” ignited the initial [...]

Recession Bites Restaurants – Restaurants Bite Back

Recession Bites Restaurants – Restaurants Bite Back

BY PAULA NEUDORF

On a busy street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Carlos Torres is managing a near-empty restaurant. Businesses are packed in like shoeboxes on this block of Broadway, between Havemeyer Street and Marcy Avenue, where the brakes of the JMZ screech on the raised tracks overhead. Torres is the manager of Zocalo, a four-year-old Mexican restaurant whose small storefront is easy to miss.
“I’m going to be honest with you,” Torres said. “This year was really hard.”

Native Spanish Speakers Only: A Queens High School’s Unusual Requirement

Native Spanish Speakers Only: A Queens High School’s Unusual Requirement

BY SOMMER SAADI

Students at Pan American, the factory-building-turned-school located in the Hispanic-dominated neighborhood of Elmhurst, Queens, must be native Spanish speakers who have lived in the U.S. for less than four years. This year, the school’s third, Pan American is welcoming 275 students, mostly from Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Colombia, to grades nine through 11.

Immigrant Communities

Immigrant Communities

China
Colombia
Dominican Republic
Ecuador
Guyana
Honduras
India
Jamaica
Korea
Mexico
Pakistan
Philippines
Poland
Russia
West Africa