Spectra Undergraduate Research Journal


Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences > Social Sciences > History


May 13, 2021


July 19, 2021


August 13, 2021


Nathalie Martinez (NM)1, 2*

Author Affiliations

1Department of Anthropology, University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

2Department of World Languages & Cultures, University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Corresponding Author

*Nathalie Martinez, martin9@unlv.nevada.edu

Corresponding Author ORCID iD


Author Contributions

NM: Contributed conceptualization, data collection, literature review, drafting of paper, formal analysis, methodology, and editing of manuscript.

Data Availability Statement

The author confirms that all data underlying the findings are fully available without restrictions.

Conflicts of Interest

The author has declared that no competing interests exist.

Ethical Considerations

Given that this project did not involve human or animal subjects, no IRB or IACUC approval was needed. No data are presented in this paper derived from the participants and all program elements are publicly shared.


No funding was used to conduct this research.


Spanish heritage speakers in the United States are a reflection of everchanging linguistic and sociolinguistic pressures that result in myriad varieties across generations. This paper provides a preliminary historical framework to fill this gap of linguistic knowledge in the Spanish-speaking community of Las Vegas, Nevada. The goals were two-fold: (1) highlight the largest Spanish-speaking communities in Las Vegas and (2) explore the significance of the East Side in the history of the Latinx population of Las Vegas. Through the analysis of oral histories and historical works, the investigation highlights the Mexican, Salvadoran, and Cuban populations of Las Vegas and their connections to Sunrise Manor (Clark County, Nevada, USA), locally known as the “East Side,” where the majority of Spanish-speakers reside. This analysis reveals the “push” and “pull” factors that motivated the immigration patterns of these groups and highlights the significance of using oral history as a primary source to amplify the experiences of marginalized communities. The broader implications include using this research to inform teachers on the local heritage of the East Side and bring local history into the classroom. Future research may use this framework to investigate the linguistic diversity of the Latinx community on the East Side and explore other racial and heritage groups in the area.


Latinx community, Las Vegas, East Side, Oral History

Submission Type

Primary research article