The Latino Lorain History Project is a public history partnership of El Centro, the Lorain Historical Society, and Oberlin College with the over-arching goal of gathering and preserving the history of the Latino community in Lorain through collecting oral histories, archival materials, and artifacts. The project engages members of the Latino community including Latino leaders, representatives from various organizations, as well as individual citizens to create a true community collaboration that will foster a sense of pride in their identity as Latinos and serve as an inspiration for young Latinos in the community.
Who we are and what we do.
The Latino Lorain History Project is focused on educating Lorain County and other interested parties on the history of Latinos and Hispanics in the community. Aside from the Lorain Historical Society’s collection of archival material, we recognize that many outside resources like books, dissertations, and websites help to create a more comprehensive picture. On the Latino Lorain website you will find resources for researchers, educators, and community members who are eager to learn more about the Latino Lorain community.
Why this work is important
The Latino Lorain Project works to appreciate and memorialize the Latino influence by delving into both Lorain's history and the history of Latino focused communities. We hope to inspire young generations to take pride in their past and their Latino heritage as they recognize the groundwork their ancestors set in Lorain.
In the Fall of 2019, the Lorain Historical Society and El Centro came together to find a way to collect the history of the Latino community in the City of Lorain. While attempts to bring this history together have been made in the past and some individuals have written various narratives, there is no complete collection of archival materials, oral histories, photographs, and artifacts in one central location.
We have partnered with El Centro and with some of the professors at Oberlin College, as well as many Latino leaders in Lorain, to create a true community collaborative partnership. Together, we are creating a public history project that will engage the community and fill the participants with a sense of pride in their identity and as contributing members of the Lorain community. It is our hope that the Latino Lorain History Project will serve as an inspiration for young Latinos in the community and a model for similar projects in Lorain and beyond.
The history of the Latino community in Lorain, like many community histories, rests in the stories that are told and handed down from generation to generation. Stories of individuals coming to Lorain from Puerto Rico to work in the steel mill, or of Mexican families coming in from the various migrations from Mexico and Texas to work at Ford, or of people coming to the USA from Cuba to escape the dictatorship of Fidel Castro. As the historical society charged with preserving the history of Lorain, the “International City,” the LHS has an obligation to compile a comprehensive history of the diverse populations that make up our community as soon as possible, beginning with the Latino population.
The Latino Lorain History Project is an effort to increase our collection of oral histories, photographs, documents and items from the Latino community in Lorain and to work with the community to document Latino history right here in our city!