Click the image to learn more. Photograph of Esperanza Unida, or "Mural of Peace," painted by Reynaldo Hernandez on the side of a building on W. National Avenue in the Walker's Point neighborhood.

Many of the earliest Mexicans to settle in Midwestern cities of the United States arrived from Mexico in the late 19th century to work maintaining the tracks for U.S. railroads.[1] In Milwaukee, the earliest known Mexican resident was Rafael Baez, a musician who arrived from Puebla, Mexico in 1884 and was the organist and music director at Gesu Church while teaching music at Marquette University.[2] The Mexican Revolution, from 1910-1920, propelled over one million Mexicans to cross the U.S.-Mexico border fleeing violence. Their immigration coincided with the need for industrial workers in the urban Midwest. Northern cities attracted Mexicans during the labor shortages created by World War I and by the passage in the 1920s of restrictions on European and Asian immigration. In response, growers and industrialists shifted to hiring African Americans and Mexicans. Labor recruiters from Chicago’s steel mills came to South Texas to recruit new workers in the 1920s. Mexicans were recruited to work at Inland Steel and Illinois Steel in Milwaukee during World War I.[3]

As the production of sugar beets expanded in the early 1900s, growers initially depended on European immigrant workers. However, in the 1920s, Midwestern growers recruited Texas Mexicans to harvest the crop. By the late 1920s, Mexican betabeleros (beet workers) were three-fifths of the migrant sugar beet crop labor force in the upper Midwest. Mexicans would initially come to the state as migrant workers and then find permanent jobs in the city.[4]

Milwaukee’s first Mexican colonia (or barrio) formed in the 1920s with the arrival of Los Primeros in 1920, when about one hundred Mexicans were recruited to work at the Pfister and Vogel tannery on S. 6th St. during a strike. These Mexicans, recruited from Mexico, were not told they would be strikebreakers. These men initially resided within the tannery before moving to apartments on the South Side. Home of many Polish immigrants, the South Side’s cheap and multi-family housing (duplexes also known as the Polish flat) provided adequate residences. Some tannery owners hired Mexicans to recruit other Mexican workers in Texas and Mexico. In 1923, another group of Mexicans arrived to work at the U.S. Glue Factory in Carrollville (which is today part of Oak Creek), where they resided in houses built by the company.[5] Chain migration swelled the Mexican population to over 4,000 by 1930. Mexicans frequently labored in the lowest paid, least skilled positions, and were the last hired and first fired. Mexican tannery workers were paid less than Anglos, and their jobs included placing the hides into the caustic chemicals that burned the workers’ eyes, noses, and lungs.

During the Depression in the 1930s, some of the Mexicans who were laid off received assistance from relief agencies that helped pay the fare for their return to Mexico.[6] The city’s Mexican population fell under 1,500 during the Great Depression. The population swelled again in the World War II era as industries and tanneries again sought workers. From World War II to 1964, Mexicans also came to Wisconsin as part of the “Bracero program” to harvest crops. By the 1970s about 10,000 migrant workers labored in Wisconsin fields and canneries. Other employers in Milwaukee included the city’s foundries and railroads. Most Mexicans continued to reside near their work in the Walker’s Point neighborhood on the city’s South Side.[7]

As another ethnic group in a city filled with immigrants and their descendants, Mexicans in Milwaukee had greater freedom and opportunity than in the Southwest, particularly in Texas, where they faced more intense racism, and segregation including segregation in public schools. However, Mexicans in Milwaukee faced housing and employment discrimination and racial taunts, particularly in the South Side, where they settled in a dispersed pattern amongst largely European American population. In the 1920s, the South Side was mostly Polish, and some Mexican men married Polish women. Others returned to Texas and married Mexican and Mexican American women whom they brought back to Milwaukee.[8]

By the early 1970s, increased farm mechanization redirected some migrant workers into Midwestern cities. Nevertheless, into the 1980s, Mexicans were still the predominant migrant agricultural workforce in the state. Many Mexicans came to Milwaukee from one particular community, Crystal City, Texas. The “Crístaleños” arrived as migrant workers from the South Texas region.[9] Many Milwaukee Mexicans maintain ties to Crystal City through newspaper subscriptions, return migration, and annual visits for family reunions. Milwaukee’s annual Mexican Fiesta, which began in 1973, has featured conjunto bands from Crystal City.[10]

By 1970, the Mexican population had increased to 3,600, and by 1980 the figure was 15,000. By 1990, official census figures showed a Mexican population had reached 21,000. By 2000 the population reached 60,000. By 2010 there were 70,000 Mexicans in the city, which was nearly 70 percent of the city’s total Latino population. In Milwaukee County, in 2010, there were 126,000 total Latinos and 83,570 Mexicans. Milwaukee County thus contained over a third of Wisconsin’s 244,000 Mexicans and nearly one third of Wisconsin’s total Latino population of 336,000.

Milwaukee’s Latino population was mostly Mexican but included Puerto Ricans and other South and Central Americans. Therefore, in the 1960s through the 1970s social movement activists were careful to take a pan-Latino approach. In the 1960s, Mexican American migrants from Texas formed Obreros Unidos (United Workers) to organize migrant workers in Wisconsin’s agricultural fields and canneries. Inspired by César E. Chávez, they began organizing workers in Texas and followed the workers to Wisconsin. In 1968, Jesus Salas, a founding member of Obreros Unidos (OU), the Wisconsin-based farm workers union, moved to Milwaukee to take a job with the United Migrant Opportunities Services (UMOS) and to organize the grape boycott in support of César Chávez’s union in California. Salas, Ernesto Chacon, Dante Navarro, and Salvador Sanchez, all active in the OU, took control of UMOS in 1968. The Mexican American labor activists took UMOS in a more militant direction in support of migrant worker rights. Salas and other Chicano activists marched outside city grocery stores with picket signs discouraging shoppers from purchasing table grapes. In 1969, UMOS and other Mexican, Puerto Rican, and African American activists organized a seven-month protest outside the Allen-Bradley Corporation demanding the employment of more minority workers. Milwaukee’s Brown Berets chapter included both Mexican and Puerto Rican members.[11]

This pan-Latino activism led to demonstrations calling attention to the small number of Latinos attending college. Mexican and Puerto Rican activists formed the Council for the Education of Latin Americans (CELA), which in August of 1970 led about 200 Mexican Americans and Puerto Ricans to sit-in in the UW-Milwaukee chancellor’s office demanding the university recruit more students from the Latino community and offer college courses on Latino culture and history. The protest led to UWM creating the Spanish Speaking Outreach Institute (SSOI) to better recruit and advise Latino students. Mexicans joined with Puerto Rican activists in the creation of La Guardia, a bilingual community newspaper. On September 16 and 23 of 1971, Latino students walked out of their Milwaukee Public School (MPS) buildings. They protested MPS’ lack of a bilingual education program, lack of curriculum that included Latino history, and lack of Latino teachers, as well as racist suspensions. The choice of dates reflected the pan-Latino makeup of the social movement in Milwaukee led by both Puerto Ricans and Mexicans/Chicanos.[12]

In 1968, Mexican American activist Ernesto Chacon was employed at UMOS when he helped create the Latin American Union for Civil Rights (LAUCR), a community organization devoted to increasing social services to the city’s Latinos and fighting discrimination in employment, housing, and in the police force. In January of 1970, after police arrested Chacon and Jose Puente during a welfare protest march, a community meeting was held at Holy Trinity-Our Lady of Guadalupe Church. Black leaders Lloyd Barbee and Vel Phillips supported Chicano leaders in the grape boycott, as did Fr. James Groppi. Groppi appeared at the church during a community meeting over Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) tactics.[13]

Relations between the MPD and the Latino community worsened in 1974 when James Ray Mendoza and his cousin Jesus Fiscal were accused of killing two off-duty MPD officers. Mendoza received a life sentence but fled to Crystal City after posting bail. He voluntarily returned to Milwaukee for a second trial in 1980, and he was acquitted.[14] In the 1960s the Milwaukee Police Department hired its first Mexican American and Puerto Rican police officers. In 1989 the new MPD police chief was Mexican American Philip Arreola, who held that position until 1996. Each year, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin awards a college scholarship in his honor. However, conflicts between the community and MPD persisted. In 2002, sixty MPD officers with guns drawn raided a south side Mexican-owned supermarket in full riot gear in search of illegally dispensed antibiotics, scaring patrons unnecessarily. After the raid, 25 workers at the grocery store sued the MPD for using excessive force.[15]

In the 1960s several new nonprofits were formed to serve the needs of the Latino poor in the city’s South Side. El Centro Hispano Americano (the Spanish Center), also known as the Council for the Spanish Speaking Inc., opened in 1964 at S. 6th and National. Founded by the Archdiocese of Milwaukee out of concerns of growing Protestant influence, the Spanish Center’s first director was Father John Maurice. In 1970, Carlos Sevilla became president, followed by Filiberto Murguia from 1973 until 2003. In 2006 Tony Baez became the director, serving until 2014. The Spanish Center began with a bilingual Head Start program, a credit union, and an adult education component. The Spanish Center eventually also provided preschool, a health and dental clinic, legal assistance, job training, and employment assistance.[16]

Along with rapid population growth came adolescent problems and gangs. In 1965 the Milwaukee Christian Center hired Gilberto Marrero to create an after-school program for at-risk youth. He developed a site in an abandoned tavern that came to be known as “The Spot,” at 814 S. 6th Street. The Spot evolved what is today a major nonprofit, the United Community Center (El Centro de la Comunidad Unida) on S. 9th St. The UCC initially had a television repair program and a gym, then added a drug and alcohol program, an elementary school, a day care center, elderly care, a café, arts programming, a charter school (Bruce-Guadalupe), a middle school, and job services. A nonprofit devoted to child care, La Causa, opened on W. Greenfield in 1972. It continues to provide bilingual day care services to the South Side along with a K4-8th grade charter school.[17]

The American Legion’s David Valdes Post was founded in 1964 by John Enriquez, who, while working at the Veterans Administration hospital in Milwaukee, noticed that Latino veterans received insufficient medical services. The post was named in honor of David Valdes, a Mexican-American veteran who was a waist gunner in the Air Force and whose plane was shot down over Hungary during World War II. Valdes had immigrated to Milwaukee with his family in the 1930s.[18]

Most Mexicans in the city have attended Milwaukee Public Schools. The student body in MPS was 16 percent Latino in 2000 and 23 percent in 2010. Under Latino community pressure, MPS created a bilingual program in 1969 in Vieau and Bruce-Guadalupe Elementary schools. MPS opened the Milwaukee Spanish Immersion School on the South Side in 1980. La Escuela Fratney in the Riverwest neighborhood is a dual language (Spanish-English) school. With the implementation of the school choice program in 1990, more Mexican children began attending private schools with state funds. By 2010, St. Anthony’s became the largest Latino parochial K-12 school in the country, with over 2,000 students. “Hispanics for School Choice” formed in 2011 to lobby for expansion of the voucher program.

The first Mexican American elected to the Milwaukee Common Council in 2000. Angel Sanchez represented the South Side’s 12th District. Sanchez lost his seat in 2004 to James Witkowiak. In 2004, Robert Puente, a former Milwaukee Police Department officer and captain, was elected as the representative of the 9th District on the North Side. Puente won re-election in 2008 and 2012. In 2010 JoCasta Zamarripa was the first Latina elected to the Wisconsin State Legislature, representing the South Side’s 8th Assembly District. She was reelected in 2012. In 2004, Peggy Romo West was elected to the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors, representing the 12th District, an area that included Milwaukee’s South Side. She was re-elected in 2008 and 2012.[19]

In the 1920s and 1930s, Mexicans formed social and business organizations known as mutualistas, or mutual aid societies, that helped create community unity, provide financial assistance, and fight prejudice. The first such organization, El Club Mexicano, formed in 1924, and was co-sponsored with the Knights of Columbus. Mexicans formed La Sociedad Mutualista Hispano-Azteca in 1920 and published a newsletter, El Mutualista, from 1930 to 1970. El Mutualista documented the society’s activities in support of the Mexican community, including providing financial assistance to those injured, burial insurance, life insurance, and celebrations of Mexican holidays, music and dance concerts, and participation in the city’s Holiday Folk Fair International. While most were Mexicans, this organization included Latin Americans and Spanish entrepreneurs. El Mutualista published news from Mexico, wedding announcements, trips to Mexico, and sports scores (bowling and softball). It also supported unions and announced when Mexicans were elected to union officer positions.[20]

As the Mexican population grew in Milwaukee, so did the number and diversity of Mexican entrepreneurs. In the 1920s, Mexican-owned businesses included grocery stores, restaurants, and taverns. Later, Mexican businesses included clothing stores, automobile repair shops, barbershops, and bakeries. Most notably, two Mexican brothers, Heriberto and Ernesto Villarreal, founded a chain of grocery stores, called Supermercado El Rey (The King). The brothers emigrated from Mexico to Milwaukee in 1960 and 1964 respectively. They opened a grocery store on the South Side in 1978, taking over a small grocery store from their father. The first store was located on S. 16th Street and opened in 1980. The brothers expanded into three other locations, and they also opened a tortilla factory on S. 5th Street. The combined stores employed 400 people by 2011.[21] The two brothers’ wives Olivia (Ernesto) and Criselda (Heriberto) were co-owners and managers of the stores. Another business, Lopez Bakery, had four outlets by 2007. Begun in 1973 by a Mexican immigrant couple, José and Amparo Lopez, the South Side institution is renowned for its “pan de muerto” or “dead bread,” traditionally bought by Mexicans to celebrate “Dia de los Muertos.”[22]

The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin (HCCW) was incorporated in 1972 and was led by Maria Monreal-Cameron from 1989 until 2013. Under Monreal-Cameron, the HCCW was voted the nation’s top regional Hispanic Chamber of Commerce several times. The HCCW offers business counseling and grants and sponsors the annual Philip Arreola Scholarship for a deserving student in honor of the city’s former Mexican American police chief.[23]

Seeking to draw more attention to the Latino presence in the South Side, Latino activists in the 1990s lobbied to rename a South Side institution or street after the Mexican American labor organizer, César Chávez, as many other cities had done. After considering renaming a high school, in 1996 Milwaukee’s Common Council voted to change the name of a portion of S. 16th St. to S. Cesar Chavez Dr. The area is in the heart of the Mexican American community and home to numerous Latino-owned businesses.[24]

From the 1920s, Mexicans have attended several South Side churches, most notably Holy Trinity on S. 4th St., St. Sebastian, St. Anthony, and St. Adalbert. In 1926, Mexicans, Anglos and the Archdiocese and Holy Trinity Parish created Our Lady of Guadalupe Mexican Mission at 313 Grove St. to minister to the Mexicans’ spiritual needs and provide English classes. These churches became the centers of the religious life of the Mexican and Mexican American population, and hold festivals for Easter and Christmas, including All Soul’s Day (November 2nd), the veneration of the Virgin Mary (December 12), Las Posadas celebrating the journey of Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem, and on January 6, Three Kings Day. After the 1960s, the South Side churches helped celebrate Mexican Independence Day on September 16 and May 5 (Cinco de Mayo), commemorating the defeat of the French invaders at Puebla in 1862; and Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead or All Saints Day).[25] As the population grew, South Side Catholic churches responded with Spanish masses. By 2005, eleven city parishes held mass in Spanish at least once a week. The most Spanish masses are held at St. Adalbert’s on W. Beecher St. on the South Side, which as of 2015 has four on the weekend.[26]

The most prominent Latino immigrant rights organization in Milwaukee today is Voces de la Frontera, founded in 2001 by Christine Neumann-Ortiz, who remains the executive director. Voces led pro-immigrant marches in the city in 2006 as part of the national protest again Wisconsin Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner’s legislation to criminalize living in the U.S. as an undocumented immigrant.[27] In 2012, Voces de la Frontera sued Palermo’s Pizza Corporation, which has a frozen pizza factory located in the Menomonee Valley, claiming that the company intended to challenge the immigration status of 89 workers because they were trying to establish a union.[28] The company fired workers who failed to verify their immigration status. Ultimately, the National Labor Relations Board upheld the firings of 75 workers.[29]

In 2015, the Mexican government announced that it would open a Mexican consulate in Milwaukee by the end of the year. Mexican consulates provide assistance to Mexican immigrants including legal information and official documents.[30] This announcement reflected the rapid growth of the Mexican population in the city and the state.


Beyond the city and county of Milwaukee, but within the metropolitan area, a large Latino settlement exists in the city of Waukesha. In the 1920s, the city attracted Mexicans, mostly from Texas, for factory jobs. Also, Waukesha’s location made it a destination for Mexicans seeking to leave field work and settle where they could remain all year round instead of having to take children out of school and return to Texas during the winter. By 1970, the Latino population numbered 1,600 with the arrival of a wave of Puerto Ricans. The Latino population increased to 2,500 by 1980.[31] By 1990, the Latino population reached 3,300 as Cubans joined the Mexican population. In 2000, Latinos numbered 5,500. In 2010, over 8,500 Latinos resided in Waukesha, and in 2015 the population had grown to over 9,000.[32]

Mexicans in Waukesha first settled in a neighborhood called the Strand, a community that included Italians and Germans. The Strand’s cheaper housing and location near the factory district attracted Mexican settlers. Mexican children went to school at White Rock Elementary, where a bilingual program started in the early 1970s. In the late 1970s, Latino parents protested the inadequate bilingual program. Puerto Ricans arrived in the 1960s, when Carroll College instructors created linkages to Puerto Rico and attracted a steady stream of students. In the 1980s, Waukesha religious groups sponsored the settlement of Cuban refugees. Anglo religious activists established the United Migrant Opportunity Services in 1965 to assist migrant families around the state. In 1968 UMOS relocated to Milwaukee. In 1966 Methodist and Catholic activists in Waukesha created History Builders, which was renamed La Casa de Esperanza (LCDE) in 1968. LCDE served the local Latino population with job training, ESL, child care services. In 1972, LCDE director Walter Sava protested discrimination against Latinos in Waukesha. He went on to lead the United Community Center in Milwaukee. After Sava left in 1983, subsequent LCDE directors expanded funding and programming. In 1992, Anselmo Villarreal took over as LCDE’s director, a position he still held as of 2016. Since 1981 the LCDE has sponsored the annual three-day “Fiesta Waukesha” held in Frame Park.[33] In 1979 LCDE started a weatherization program that hired and trained Latinos to weatherize the homes of low-income residents. LCDE also runs a café, a Head Start program, a bilingual day care center, after-school activities for teens, senior apartments, a health clinic, GED instruction, and job application assistance. In 2015, LCDE began operating a charter elementary school. Waukesha is the home of HUSCO International, a manufacturer of mechanical parts, headed by Augustin A. “Gus” Ramirez.[34] In 1978 Ness Flores, a former migrant worker, was elected judge in Waukesha County, serving until 1983.[35]

Footnotes [+]

  1. ^ Dionicio Nodín Valdés, Barrios Norteños: St. Paul and Midwestern Communities in the Twentieth Century (Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 2000).
  2. ^ Joseph A. Rodriguez and Walter Sava, Latinos in Milwaukee (Charleston, SC: Arcadia, 2006),  10.
  3. ^ John Gurda, The Latin Community in Milwaukee’s Near-South Side (Milwaukee: Milwaukee Urban Observatory, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 1976); Cristóbal S. Berry-Cabán, Hispanics in Wisconsin: A Bibliography of Resource Materials (Madison, WI: State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1981), 1-2.
  4. ^ Valdés, Barrios Norteños.
  5. ^ Jim Cech, Oak Creek: 50 Years of Progress (Chicago: Arcadia Publishing, 2005), 55ff; Robert Marrow, Carrollville in Retrospect (Oak Creek, WI: Oak Creek Senior High Print Club, 1982), 34.
  6. ^ Berry-Cabán, Hispanics in Wisconsin, 2.
  7. ^ Berry-Cabán, Hispanics in Wisconsin, 2-3.
  8. ^ Rodriguez and Sava, Latinos in Milwaukee; Sergio M. González, “‘Juntos en el nombre de Dios’: Milwaukee’s Mexican Mission Chapel of Our Lady of Guadalupe, 1924-1929” (MA thesis, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2014), 46.
  9. ^ Marc Rodriguez, Tejano Diaspora: Mexican Americanism and Ethnic Politics in Texas and Wisconsin (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2011).
  10. ^ Rodriguez, Tejano Diaspora; See history of Mexican Fiesta:, now available at History, Wisconsin Hispanic Scholarship Fund website,, last accessed July 4, 2017.
  11. ^ Rodriguez, Tejano Diaspora.
  12. ^ Rodriguez and Sava, Latinos in Milwaukee. See also Latino Activism at UWM, 1970-1971, UWM Libraries Digital Collections, accessed May 30, 2017.
  13. ^ Rodriguez, Tejano Diaspora, 115.
  14. ^ “Mendoza Acquitted in Slaying of Officers,” Milwaukee Sentinel, November 20, 1980.
  15. ^ “Police Raid El Rey for Antibiotics,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, p. 9b, September 19, 2002.
  16. ^ See Centro Hispano Milwaukee website, last accessed July 4, 2017; Mark Edward Braun, Social Change and the Empowerment of the Poor: Poverty Representation in Milwaukee’s Community Action Programs, 1964-1972 (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2001), 179.
  17. ^ Joseph Rodriguez, Sarah Filzen, Susan Hunter, Dana Nix, and Marc Rodriguez, Nuestro Milwaukee (Milwaukee: s.n., 2000).
  18. ^ Milwaukee Journal, May 5, 1975; Rodriguez and Sava, Latinos in Milwaukee, 90.
  19. ^ Information from individual politicians’ web sites. On Angel Sanchez see Larry Sander, “Another Witkowiak-Sanchez Battle for Alderman May Be Shaping Up,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, December 30, 2011; on Robert Puente see Personnel File, Robert Puente, Urban Milwaukee website, last accessed July 4, 2017; on JoCasta Zamarripa see State Representative JoCasta Zamarripa, Wisconsin State Assembly website, last accessed July 4, 2017; on Peggy Romo West, see Peggy Romo West, Milwaukee Board of Supervisors,, last accessed 2015, information now available at Peggy A. West,, last accessed August 16, 2017.
  20. ^ Sergio M. González, “‘Juntos en el nombre de Dios’: Milwaukee’s Mexican Mission Chapel of Our Lady of Guadalupe, 1924-1929” (MA thesis, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2014).
  21. ^New El Rey Store Aims for Wider Market,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, October 16, 2011, accessed May 30, 2017; “Immigrant Co-founded Iconic El Rey Chain,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, November 8, 2011, accessed May 30, 2017.
  22. ^ Georgia Pabst, “Lopez Bakery Celebrates 40 Sweet Years,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, November 1, 2013, last accessed July 4, 2017.
  23. ^ “Maria Monreal-Cameron Leaves Behind a Legacy for Hispanic Chamber,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, September 14, 2013; See also Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Wisconsin website, last accessed July 4, 2017
  24. ^ Tim R, “Hispanic Hero Cesar Chavez,” September 24, 2014, last accessed July 4, 2017.
  25. ^ Gonzales, “Juntos en el nombre de Dios.”
  26. ^ Information on Spanish masses in Milwaukee provided by Stephen Leahy. See also the Archdiocese of Milwaukee website, last accessed July 4, 2017.
  27. ^ See Voces de la Frontera website, last accessed 2015.
  28. ^ Kurt Chandler, “From the Archives: The Activist,” Milwaukee Magazine, January 30, 2017, accessed May 30, 2017.
  29. ^Palermo’s Pizza Agrees to Rehire 8 Workers, Set Union Election,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, July 30, 2013, accessed May 30, 2017.
  30. ^ Edgar Mendez, “Mexican Consulate to Open in Milwaukee by Year’s End,” April 10, 2015, Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service, last accessed July 4, 2017.
  31. ^ Sava and Villarreal, Latinos in Waukesha, 80-81.
  32. ^ US Census,; Waukesha City, Wisconsin Statistics and Demographics (US Census 2000), Area Connect website, last accessed July 4, 2017.
  33. ^ Sava and Villarreal, Latinos in Waukesha, 103.
  34. ^ On Husco International see Company History, Husco International website, last accessed July 4, 2017.
  35. ^ “Advocate for Migrants Made Judge,” Milwaukee Journal, July 14, 1978; Shannon Green, “From Migrant Farmworker to Judge: Ness Flores Is Pathbreaker for Latino Lawyers,” State Bar of Wisconsin, WisBar Inside Track, 8 (October 2016), last accessed July 4, 2017.

For Further Reading

Berry-Cabán, Cristóbal S. Hispanics in Wisconsin: A Bibliography of Resource Materials Madison, WI: State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1981.

González, Sergio M. “‘Juntos en el nombre de Dios’: Milwaukee’s Mexican Mission Chapel of Our Lady of Guadalupe, 1924-1929.” MA thesis, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2014.

González, Sergio M. Mexicans in Wisconsin. Madison, WI: Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2017.

Gurda, John. The Latin Community in Milwaukee’s Near-South Side. Milwaukee: Milwaukee Urban Observatory, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 1976.

Rodriguez, Joseph A., and Walter Sava. Latinos in Milwaukee. Charleston, SC: Arcadia, 2006.

Rodriguez, Joseph, Sarah Filzen, Susan Hunter, Dana Nix, and Marc Rodriguez. Nuestro Milwaukee. Milwaukee: s.n., 2000.

Rodriguez, Marc. Tejano Diaspora: Mexican Americanism and Ethnic Politics in Texas and Wisconsin. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2011.

Sava, Walter, and Anselmo Villarreal. Latinos in Waukesha. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2007.

Valdés, Dionicio Nodín. Barrios Norteños: St. Paul and Midwestern Communities in the Twentieth Century. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 2000.

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  1. Claudia Franco Hijuelos says:

    The Consulate of Mexico in Milwaukee currently serves approximately 300,000 Mexicans and Mexican-Americans throughout the state of Wisconsin. According to the latest US Census (2020), Hispanics constitute 7.1% of the total population in the state of Wisconsin, and over 70% of them identify themselves as Mexican.

    The Consulate Mexico in Milwaukee was established in 2016, following the growing economic and social importance of the Mexican community in this area of the Midwest. To date, the Consulate is the only diplomatic mission in the state of Wisconsin.

    A dedicated group of officials and bilingual staff provides essential documentation services, and protection and consular assistance, which are the Consulate´s core activities in serving the Mexican community.

    In addition to Mexican government-sponsored programs, the Consulate partners with state and local authorities and organizations to reach the Mexican and Latino populations. We share the objective to improve their access to quality education and basic healthcare, and to enable them to contribute more effectively to the economic and social development of Milwaukee, and the state of Wisconsin.

    The Consulate organizes and sponsors diverse cultural events; trade and tourism promotion is also part of our activities. To learn more, visit our website: or follow the Consulate´s social media accounts:

    Facebook: @Consulado de México en Milwaukee

    YouTube: @Consulmexmke

    Twitter: @ConsulMexMKE