LatinaLista -- It's estimated that 47 percent of today's Latino population is foreign-born. It's a statistic that isn't all that surprising, though it's important to note that the US Census attributes current growth in the Latino population from births, rather than immigration.
Yet, immigrants have historically been heralded as the trailblazers of their communities. Their stories inspire and motivate -- if we know about them.
Too often, no one outside the immediate family knows about the hardships and perseverance endured by that first-generation American. As a result, important history is getting lost.
A new national initiative called the Immigrant Archive Project (IAP) wants to preserve the life stories of America's immigrant population. Founded by the Latino Broadcasting Company, the IAP seeks out immigrants willing to record their stories in their own words to IAP staff.
The interviews are then shared with listeners via radio, television, internet, and traveling educational as well as art installations.
The initiative is not only for preserving immigrants' stories but to serve as a way to show the greater American community that there is nothing to fear from immigrants and that we all are more alike than different.
The founders of the project are also thinking ahead:
Through this initiative we hope to preserve the struggles, dreams and accomplishments of America's vast and diverse immigrant population so that future generations may learn from their collective experience.
As a twist on the old saying goes, "The rest is (your/their) history."