June 18, 2017

Salvadorans now largest immigrant group in DC area

Salvadorans, wrote the revolutionary poet Roque Dalton, are a resilient, "hacelotodo" (can-do-everything) people who, despite experiencing great repression, violence, and exclusion in their homeland and elsewhere, persevere in and outside of their country. They also are the largest immigrant group in the Washing ton, D.C., metropolitan area. In 2013 the U.S. Census Bureau estimated that 21,276 Salvadorans resided in the District, representing 34 percent of D.C.'s Latino population and more than 3 percent of the city's population overall. Yet few Washingtonians know their history or recognize their important demographic, cultural, and economic presence in the region.

Often mislabeled "El Salvadorans"-generally, the preferred terms are Salvadoran, SalvadoreƱo/a, Salvadorian, or Salvadorean, without the article "El"-they fill every niche of the local labor market. They are students, teachers, professors, doctors, engineers, scientists, entrepreneurs, writers, artists, performers, activists, and specialists in the nonprofit, construction, hospitality, healthcare, homecare, daycare, and security industries, among many other fields.



Anonymous said...

Of these, how many are School of the Americas alumni, one wonders?

William Boyd said...

Not Bolivians? During my nearly two-year tour in Bolivia (working under the auspices of USAID while remaining a CDC employee), I swear I always heard that the world's third-most populous Bolivian city was DC (plus presumably northern VA). No?