latino

Daniela Vidal and Jacqueline LeBlanc / KBIA

  You might not expect to find too much of Mexico in Missouri. But small towns across the state, like Mexico, Missouri are adapting to a growing Latino population.

The last census reported the state of Missouri saw a nearly 80 percent increase in the Latino population from 2000 to 2010.

So it’s no surprise to hear conversations in Spanish when you step into Diva 27, a Mexican grocery and clothing store in Mexico.  Boxes of tortillas, fresh sweet bread, spices and figurines of famous Mexican comedians line the shelves.

Trevor Harris / KBIA

Since 2000, Columbian Eduardo Crespi has run a community center called El Centro Latino. On this week's Thinking Out Loud, KBIA's Darren Hellwege talked with Crespi. KBIA's Trevor Harris also met some Columbia residents who were at the center on a recent Monday.


A three-day conference is being held to address the integration of immigrants into the Midwest. The 13th annual Cambio De Colores conference started Wednesday night at the University of Missouri and runs through Friday.