Hispanics connect through religion

Hispanics in the Valley: ‘We can contribute’
For many, faith keeps ties alive
By Rob Scott, The Daily Item

Nine children were born into Joe Rosa’s congregation last year.

This year, seven more women are pregnant.

“When children are being born, that means people are comfortable,” said Rosa, pastor at Congregacion Menonita Shalom in New Columbia. “This is a place where they can grow their families.”

More and more Hispanic families are living, and growing, in the Valley, Rosa said. More than when he and his wife and fellow pastor, Maggie, moved here seven years ago and opened their church to the Latin community.

“We’ve done nothing but go up (in numbers) since we started,” he said, noting the congregation today has 180 members.

Based on the 2000 Census and estimates for 2007, the Hispanic population in the Valley has either increased or stayed static in most counties.

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