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Sculpture coming to Ft. Collins' Sugar Beet Park honors field workers

Mujeres de Colores, a nonprofit serving women and families of color, hopes to unveil the sculpture in September.
Credit: Mujeres de Colores
This is rendering of a proposed sculpture that will be installed in Sugar Beet Park in Fort Collins.

Two years after the completion of Sugar Beet Park in Fort Collins, community organizers are excited about a new addition.

Mujeres de Colores, a non-profit devoted to women and families of color, is spearheading the project for a bronze sculpture.

"It's symbolic. It's really about giving pride to the people who helped Fort Collins flourish," said Mujeres de Colores founder Betty Aragon-Mitotes.

The sculpture, designed by Frank Garza, will pay tribute to the Hispanic and Mexican workers in the sugar beet industry.

"So many people worked in the sugar beet industry here in Fort Collins, and there was a stigma so many years ago. It was almost like a stigma of shame if you worked the beet fields," said Aragon-Mitotes.

She hopes the monument will be a reminder to the Mexican and Latino community, that their contributions are appreciated.

Chuck Solano moved to Fort Collins in 1945 to work in the sugar beet fields and has called Colorado home ever since.

"To commemorate the contributions of what these workers did for the community, I think it's great," said Solano. 

Solano now gives presentations at community centers and museums to talk about his experience working in the fields.

"It's really important to educate people and to make them aware of the issues that surround our Hispanic community," added Aragon-Mitotes.

Other community organizers, like Jesus Castro, said they are excited about the sense of pride this sculpture will bring to Fort Collins.

"When I see the project, I see the history of my family and I see the history of our community," said Castro. 

He hopes the sculpture will help diminish feelings of insecurity other Hispanics and Latinos may have about their heritage.

"I think that having this monument here will be a reminder for everyone of the hard work our community did 100 years ago, and they deserve to have this," said Castro.

Aragon-Mitotes hopes to unveil the sculpture by September for Hispanic Heritage Month. They are still raising money to go toward the sculpture, but are grateful for some of the donation's they've already received.

With the help from the Fort Collins Downtown Development Authority, the Latino Foundation of Denver and Kristi's Foundation, $120,000 has already been committed to the sculpture.

"They have been instrumental in helping me...I couldn't have done this without their support," said Aragon-Mitotes.

People interested in donating, can do so here.

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