Central America is more than three thousand miles away from Colorado, but for many, no distance is too far to travel for those in search of the American Dream.
Crime and poverty has caused many to migrate from their home countries, and today, many Central Americans are thriving here in Colorado.
Deivy Calix, who is originally from Honduras, came to Colorado years ago hoping to improve his quality of life.
He now owns a Denver barbershop called Catrachos.
“The economy in my country isn't good, so I decided to move here to be a better person for my family and myself,” Calix said.
There are approximately 150 thousand Central Americans like Calix living in Colorado. Many of them have goals of personal progress, and their own ideas of the American Dream.
“I think the American dream can be anything you set your mind to. For me it was to have a business to support my family. And I'm doing that with the help of God,” Calix said.
“I believe that the Hispanic community contributes a lot to the United States. We are like a machine that helps the economy, and besides that, we are a people that loves to share our culture,” Salvador Flores Sanabria, of the Central American Association in Denver, said.
Salvador, along with his colleagues Roxana Hernandez and Michael Pineda, make up the small Denver non-profit to help Central Americans in the region and to educate the community about their culture.
Although Central America shares a language with other Latin American countries, there are many differences in their culture, especially when it comes to food. Foods like pupusas, which are a typical dish in El Salvador. Pupusas are thick corn tortillas stuffed with a variety of fillings, like cheese and pork. Horchata is a popular drink that, unlike the Mexican version that is made of rice and cinnamon, the Salvadoran horchata includes jicaro seeds ground with rice and spices.
"The food is perhaps not as spicy as Mexican food, but we have a wide variety,” Hernandez said.
But it’s more than food that represents the Central American community. It's their spirit of “Si, se puede.” This common phrase among Latinos means, “Yes, it can be done.”
“Si se puede is working hard day-in and day-out. Si se puede is possible. If you are persistent, you can have it in this country, because it is the country of opportunities,” Calix said.
“We are resilient and hard workers. That's what we represent,” Calix said.
Here is a local resource that aims to encourage and promote education and culture in the United States and Central America: http://www.acaunida.org/.