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By the s Spanish-speaking individuals constituted the fastest-growing portion of America's immigrant population.

Though Cleveland's Spanish-speaking community did not grow as rapidly as those in Florida or California, it was, inthe largest linguistically defined segment of the local population; 20, individuals in Greater Cleveland spoke Spanish. The overwhelming majority of the local Spanish-speaking population consists of Puerto Ricans. The Puerto Rican community of Cleveland is relatively new.

When their contracts terminated, many were attracted to Cleveland by its diverse job opportunities. Although most had not originally intended to stay in Ohio permanently, many changed their minds and sent for friends and relatives to them. In Cleveland reported a total of 1, Puerto Rican residents.

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Cleveland's Puerto Rican population increased dramatically owing to a high birth rate and migration from the island, New York, and Chicago. In approx.

As a group, Puerto Ricans were unique settlers in that they were already American citizens when they arrived in Cleveland, and they could easily travel back and forth to their homeland. The majority of Puerto Ricans who came to Cleveland in the s settled on the east side around Hough, Lexington, and, later, Superior avenues. Paul's Shrine, where Spanish-speaking Trinitarian priests were located. In an exodus of Puerto Ricans from the east side to the near west side began.

Inner city deterioration and a desire to be closer to jobs in steel mills and industrial mills in the FLATS area prompted the large-scale movement.

Approximately two-thirds of Greater Cleveland's Puerto Ricans now live on the near west side from W. On the east side, some Puerto Ricans are still found in the original settlement, from E. A growing are settling in the N. Broadway area. Historically, most Puerto Ricans are Roman Catholics, but unlike most Catholics, Puerto Ricans did not bring their own priests with them.

Other parishes often opposed Spanish masses and did not welcome new members from the Puerto Rican community. As a result of determined and sustained efforts by many of Greater Cleveland's Puerto Ricans, a church on W. Though it is primarily Puerto Rican, other Spanish-speaking people are in the parish.

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Several Protestant churches in Greater Cleveland also have Puerto Rican followings, and a of Catholic and Protestant churches offered special services and bilingual education programs for Spanish-speaking persons of all ages in As a group, Puerto Ricans are fiercely proud of their traditions and customs. First-generation parents have attempted to maintain island traditions in their homes and clubs, which often bear the names of native island towns. Puerto Rican social, cultural, civic, and service clubs exist in Cleveland.

Its purpose is to bring together the city's Puerto Rican residents and to educate the Cleveland community about Puerto Rican culture. Mexicans constitute the 2nd-largest Spanish-speaking ethnic group in Cleveland. The first Mexicans settled in Cleveland during the early s, and a slow but steady stream of immigrants increased the city's Mexican population to in During the following decades, the Mexican population fell to as a result of the Depression, which caused many Mexicans to return to Mexico.

During the s, the steel industry in Cleveland and Lorain recruited large s of Mexican immigrants for war work. Some of those in Lorain eventually moved to Cleveland because of greater opportunities for employment in the larger city. Many Mexican immigrants decided to stay permanently in Cleveland. By approx.

The early Mexicans were from rural areas. They came seeking economic opportunity and freedom from political instability and religious persecution. These early arrivals did not form ethnic settlements, as did many other immigrant groups. Instead, they settled in various parts of the city. In the majority of Mexican-Americans lived on the west side around Lorain Ave. Others are scattered throughout Greater Cleveland.

In the club purchased a store and suite at Detroit Ave. In Mexicans resided in Cleveland.

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Most of Cleveland's Cubans came to the city following Castro's seizure of power in Prior to this time, only Cubans resided in Cleveland. The Cleveland Cuban Refugee Resettlement Committee, composed of Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish organizations, helped relocate refugees of the various faiths. Most of the new arrivals were families who intended to return to Cuba as soon as Castro was ousted.

After the Bay of Pigs, many decided to stay permanently in Cleveland.

In there were about Cubans in Cleveland. The population within the city declined to in The majority were well-educated, experienced business people. Some American industries that had operated plants in Cuba offered jobs to the refugees.

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The Cubans quickly became self-supporting, acquired well-paying jobs, and moved into suburban neighborhoods. Most were fairly well-educated men who came after World War II. Some sought to continue their education in the Cleveland area; others sought jobs in the export and import business.

Eventually many decided to stay in Cleveland permanently and married Cleveanders or sent for their families to them. The new arrivals initially settled near each other and near the Mexicans and Puerto Ricans, with whom they shared bonds of culture and language. However, the immigrants never formed permanent settlements, because there were few people from any one nationality group. They are now scattered throughout the suburbs of Greater Cleveland. Many of the Latin American immigrants have become members of various professions. The club was organized in by night students at Western Reserve Univ.

Part of this effort is an annual folk festival in conjunction with the interhemispheric celebration of Pan American Day. Relatively small s of Greater Cleveland's Spanish-speaking people trace their heritage to Spain. In there were approx. Most Spaniards came to Cleveland by way of Cuba; others migrated from the U. They began arriving in Cleveland ca. Most came with the intention of staying here permanently. The immigrants tended to settle together. Initially, the English language posed a major obstacle, but once they learned the language they integrated quickly and are now scattered throughout the area.

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Many new arrivals labored in the city's steel mills, factories, and foundries. Although the Spaniards readily adopted American customs, they preserved many of their social and cultural traditions. A society for Spaniards, Club Galicia, was established in It was active for many years until it disbanded as other associations took its place in the local Spanish community. Several media services are deed for the Spanish-speaking peoples of Cleveland. Spanish-language broadcasts for several hours a week are heard on local radio stations.

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Go to case. Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. Nicholas J. Article. Immigration and Ethnicity.

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Immigrants from The Dominican Republic are among the ten largest immigrant groups in the United States.