Longtime Elkhart residents laud diversity, but lament civic disconnect among Hispanics

“I can guarantee 99 percent of them get up and go to work every day because this neighborhood clears out at six in the morning,” Hardy said.

The growth in the Latino population over the past 25 years or so has changed many neighborhoods in Elkhart and Goshen. In the swath of south Elkhart where Hardy lives, an area south of Wolf Avenue between Oakland Avenue and Prairie Street, the surge has been particularly pronounced. From just 110 Latinos in 1990, 1.6 percent of the population, the Hispanic count in the area grew to an estimated 3,036 as of 2014, or 34 percent of the population, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures. That’s higher than the city’s overall Hispanic concentration of 24 percent.


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