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The Las Vegas Valley has become home to a large Salvadoran and Guatemalan population with no clear understanding of the reason for its growth. Upon arrival to the United States, many Latin American immigrants will often struggle with the language barrier and the lack of resources at their disposal. This study aims to uncover what factors and advantages made the Guatemalan and Salvadoran communities choose to stay in Las Vegas Valley, as well as the contribution these populations have made to this metropolitan area. I will first examine published scholarship that uncovers the reasons on what initiatives made central Americans migrate to Las Vegas and what programs could have been used to flourish this population. I will then compare the collected scholarship to oral history interviews from the Latinx Voices of Southern Nevada to determine whether or not a similar relationship can be formed. The comparison leads to believe that many similar points were connected but there is still a disconnect with the interviews. An aspect in particular, that was not adequately addressed, is that of the subjective influence of the American Dream. Throughout the past 30 years, the Las Vegas Latin community has grown immensely and is believed to continue to expand with the ever-evolving metropolitan culture.

Publication Date

Spring 2021




American dream; Community; Mexican hegemony; Migration


Latin American History | Latin American Studies

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1233 KB


Faculty Mentor: Sheila Bock, Ph.D.

Central Americans in Las Vegas