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The American Dream in Sussex County

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Delaware’s Latino population is growing and it’s growing fast. And that’s a good thing.

On Oct. 7, the DCF will be releasing a new report entitled Perspectives on the Latino Population in Sussex County, Delaware.

What we find is encouraging and inspiring. Now exceeding 20,000 people, Sussex County’s vibrant and diverse Latino community is bringing new passion to the belief in the American Dream.

The Roques are building the American Dream.“I raised smart and determined kids who don’t give up,” said Julia Roque, who immigrated from Puerto Rico in the 1970s. “They make me happy.”

Her children are now pursuing careers in communications, the military and nursing. Julia and her family are just one example.

The Sussex County Latino community contributes more than $50 million in tax revenue to Delaware annually. There are more than 800 Latino-owned businesses in the county. Nearly 25% of Sussex County Latinos aged 25 or older have earned college credits – 75% of them are women. They are learning English at breakneck speed, buying homes, holding down jobs, going to school and church, leading local sports leagues, and building community.

This is what America was built on. While many of us are grappling with whether the American Dream is still possible, the Latino community in Sussex County is living it. I’ve long expressed my continued belief in idea of the American Dream. This report gives me even more confidence that it has not vanished.

The report will be posted soon. In the meantime, you can sign up here for the Oct. 7 community conversation in Georgetown, where the report will be discussed.

This report, which was written by Drs. Jennifer Fuqua and April Veness at the University of Delaware, would not be possible without the support of a grant from CFLeads; the partnership and inspiration of Dr. Christine Cannon and the Arsht-Cannon Fund; the community leadership of La Esperanza and La Colectiva; and members of the Sussex County community.