• Boom: Latinos, the Modern Pioneers

      González de Bustamante, Celeste; Lanuza, April; Relly, Jeannine; Duncan, Daniel; Newton, Kim (The University of Arizona., 2019)
      Latino dispersion is changing communities around the United States. Latinos are moving to and living in ‘non-traditional’ places around the country. The demographics of predominantly white, rural cities and states are changing. According to a PEW Research Study, Williams County, North Dakota, led the nation in Latino population growth from 2007 to 2014. For my thesis I visit Williston, the largest city in Williams County, to produce a documentary about the city’s growing Latino population in a post oil boom society. Williston suddenly had a surge in Latinos from 2007 to 2014 because of an oil boom and the increase in jobs that ensued afterwards. According to the US census of North Dakota (Cicha, 2015), as of 2015, every county in the state has a Latino population. Twenty-three percent indicated they were born in-state, sixty-one percent born out of state and sixteen-percent born outside of the country. However, even with the stabilization of the oil boom, a Latino community remains. The objective of my thesis is to investigate this shift in Latino migration and examine the networks that have been built as a result. Through the eyes of several Latinos in Williston, I have produced a documentary detailing their experiences in this city. Other people in the community give their perspectives about what the community is like and what is or isn’t supporting this new Latino population. As Latinos move away from ‘traditional’ places such as Miami and Los Angeles, rural, smaller, Anglo-American dominated communities are seeing an increase in native Spanish speakers that they had not seen before, thus influencing community dynamics. Using ethnographic research and the conceptual framework of moral geography, I will examine how the community perceives this new population. Keywords: Immigrant, Networks, North Dakota, Williams County, Hispanic, Latino/a, community, oil boom, Williston, moral geography