Professor discusses history of Latinos in Wisconsin during Hispanic Heritage Month

NOW: Professor discusses history of Latinos in Wisconsin during Hispanic Heritage Month

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- This week, Gateway Technical College continues its slate of events in observation of National Hispanic Heritage Month.

Dr. Pilar Melero, a professor of Spanish and Latin American/Latinx literature at UW-Whitewater, gave a history lesson of the first Latinos in the state.

One of the things, according to Melero, that many don't know is that Latinos have deep roots in the state -- a fact that she likes to highlight because she believes many Americans consider Latinos recent immigrants.

"And while that is true -- a lot of us are immigrants, including myself -- it's important to know that we also have taken part in building this country," Dr. Melero said. "If Wisconsin, for example, becomes a state in 1848, and we are already working here in the factories, the farms, at the universities, less than 100 years after it becomes a state."

According to Melero, Wisconsin was founded as a state in 1848 and 36 years later, the first person registered as a Latino of Mexican origins here in Wisconsin.

She added that he was a professor who came from Mexico to teach music at Marquette University.

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