Friday, September 25, 2009

Latinos of Amsterdam, NY

Latinos have been residents of the City of Amsterdam, New York since the post-WWII mass migration of Puerto Ricans to the mainland U.S.A. The original settlers arrived as workers in the area's once booming textile industry.

A half hour's drive west of NY's Capital District, Amsterdam sits on a slope rising above the Mohawk River. It's was a major transport point for the movement of goods along New York's famed Erie Canal system. The City's current population of 17,500 (est.) is down 1/3rd from its 1990 count. It serves as the urban hub for Montgomery County (48K pop) and the largely rural Mohawk Valley.

Latinos comprise 20-25% of the city's residents and are about 10% of the county population.

The above photo* is of the Camacho family (1953), Amsterdam, NY.

* Courtesy of NYS Legacies Project

Amsterdam's Centro Civico marks its 20th year