A Health Center Wants To Tell The Untold Stories Of Latino Contributions To Washington State

The Pacific Northwest will soon unveil a museum dedicated to the contributions and history of Latinos in the state of Washington. The museum is called the Sea Mar Museum of Chicano/a Latino/a Culture, which will focus on Washington’s Latino farmworker history and civil rights. The Seattle organization Sea Mar, which specializes in a variety of health and education services for the Latino Community, led the efforts to bring the museum into a reality and is now set to open this winter near downtown Seattle. While the museum will be a big part of the project, it will include a lot more for the Latino community.

A new museum is coming to Seattle to honor the Latino community of the area.

According to community organizers, there will be a community center, as well as a children’s clinic and a Latino radio station. The $16 million, 29,832-square-foot project includes a community meeting center where locals can meet and organize events for future projects.

It was a long time coming for Washington, where Latinos have had a huge impact on the state.

This will be the first major museum dedicated to Latino history in Washington, where Latinos made up 12.4 percent of the population in 2014. Erasmo Gamboa, a professor emeritus of history at the University of Washington, is one of the leaders of the project and says the museum has been many years in the making.

“Latinos have made incredible contributions, not only to the economy, but to the citizens of Washington state,” Gamboa told the Seattle Globalist. “Who would [Washingtonians] be without the Latino population?”

One of the first exhibits will focus on the effect that Latino migrant workers had on Washington.

Credit/ Sea Mar Museum of Chicano/a Latino/a Culture

One of the first of three opening exhibits will focus on Washington’s farmworker history which will include a life size migrant farmworker cabin. The Washington farmworkers were part of the Bracero Program, a Mexican farm laborer program that lasted from 1942 to 1964. The program helped keep American agriculture afloat while the nation fought in World War II. Gamboa says this part of Latino history needs to be told especially up in the Pacific Northwest.

The museum will be a place where Latinos in Washington can finally call their own.

Credit/ Sea Mar Museum of Chicano/a Latino/a Culture

For many in Washington, the museum was a long time coming and is an important step in telling the history of the Latino community. Carolina Lucero, the Senior Vice President of Sea Mar, spoke with King5 News and says the museum will be special for many Latinos who’ve never had a place to call their own. “It’s not just a building. It is a place where people can come and feel comfortable, a place where people can come and call home.”

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