From the 1960s to the present, two-thirds of Pennsylvania’s population growth has been the result of Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, Mexicans, and others moving to the Commonwealth. In the 1960s, the vast majority of Latinos lived in Philadelphia; today, as many live in the Pennsylvania Dutch region as in the City of Brotherly Love. This is the most significant regional demographic change in more than a century, and it is one that is poorly understood by scholars and the general public. The roots of Latinos in Pennsylvania stretch back to the American Revolution and have contributed culturally and economically to the region and the Commonwealth.
The term Dutchirican is in part a provocation. Few people think of themselves in those terms. But the term also points to realities that are often missed, such as the confluence of cultural values between Dutchmen and Latinos. One example is the growing presence of Latino Mennonites, a trend with roots in the 1940s. The talk also looks at the photographs of Latinos both past and present to illustrate the dignity of those often ignored or disparaged.