Grand Junction recognizes International Day of the Migrant |

Grand Junction recognizes International Day of the Migrant

Sharon Sullivan
Several immigrants, including the Talvera family: Jobita, Carmen, Jose and Enmanuel attended the Dec. 18 Grand Junction City Council meeting where council proclaimed Dec. 18 as International Day of the Migrant to honor the contributions of immigrants in the Grand Valley.
Submitted photo |

Grand Junction is home to many immigrants from around the world, and City Council recently paid tribute to their community contributions by proclaiming Dec. 18 as International Day of the Migrant.

Spearheaded by Welcoming Colorado, a collaboration of the Hispanic Affairs Project and the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, the city proclamation coincides with the date the United Nations recognizes as International Day of the Migrant.

“We organize activities to make it easier for immigrants to integrate into the community,” said Nicole Bernal, HAP program director and West Slope coordinator for Welcoming Colorado.

For example, supporters attend monthly naturalization ceremonies to register new citizens to vote.

Welcoming Colorado also collaborates with Mesa County Libraries by sponsoring its annual November Culture Fest, where immigrants from around the world come to the library to share food and customs during the day-long event.

“The point is to create a space where people born here can mingle with immigrants and hear their stories, and come to understand who they are, the struggles they face, and their reasons for coming to the U.S.,” Bernal said.

On Dec. 19., Mesa County Libraries hosted a Welcoming Colorado potluck dinner celebration at the central library — an event attended by a diverse group of immigrants. Councilman Bennett Boeschenstein read the city proclamation at the event.

“There’s a perception that our immigrants are only from Mexico, but we have families from all over the world” who are settled here, said Molly Greenlee, regional coordinator for the School District 51 migrant education program.

Since 2006, the City of Grand Junction has joined other communities in proclaiming Dec. 18 as International Day of the Migrant.

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