Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 1997


Hispanic Americans -- Oregon -- Hillsboro, Immigrants -- Oregon -- Social conditions, Immigrants -- Oregon -- Economic conditions


Shortly after World War II, Mexican immigrants began moving to the Hillsboro area to take jobs as farm workers. Since 1980, the Hispanic population ofHillsboro has quintupled, and now exceeds 10% ofthe total. Historically, though, Hillsboro's Hispanic residents have had little involvement in planning or other government issues.

In keeping with Statewide Planning Goal One (citizen participation), the Hillsboro city government is seeking to incorporate the values and attitudes ofits Hispanic residents in the city's vision for the future. Discovering the characteristics, needs, and aspirations ofthe Hispanic community is a first step in involving Hispanic people in planning and in government generally. With this discovery as the goal, students from the Master of Urban and Regional Planning program at Portland State University have studied Hillsboro's Hispanic community for the Hillsboro Planning Department.

This study contacted over 50 Hispanic community members, as well as many people who work with Hispanics in or near Hillsboro. Not all contacts live in Hillsboro, but the study found that the Hillsboro's Hispanic community extends beyond city boundaries. Information about the community comes from literature about Hispanic culture and Hispanic-Americans, census and other secondary data, four student-led group discussions, a community meeting at Centro Cultural in Cornelius, numerous individual interviews, a questionnaire survey, and even a call-in Spanish-language radio show.

The study revealed a close-knit, family-oriented community growing in Hillsboro. It possesses unique characteristics as well as characteristics shared with other recently-immigrated groups. Some ofthese characteristics lend strength and vitality to the Hispanic community, while others pose challenges to the community's development.


Client: Hillsboro Planning Department


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hillsboro hispanic community proposal.pdf (1665 kB)
Project Proposal