From July through December 2007, Louis Mendoza, chair of the University of Minnesota's Department of Chicano Studies, will bicycle around the perimeter of the United States.
Photo: Kelly MacWilliams
Covering 8,500 miles, he'll visit 34 states. Along the way, he plans to talk with people about their views on the emergence of Latinos as the nation's largest ethnic minority and the impact this demographic shift is having on U.S. national identity and culture.
“My goal is to listen to the person on the street, to meet people in churches, cafes, and bars, to find out what they understand are the issues around the ‘Latino-ization' of the U.S.," Mendoza says.
“My hope is that this journey will not be just my story, but the story of the people I encounter who are both part of the problem and part of the solution. My goal is to offer much needed insight from voices that aren't often heard in formal media venues."
By Kelly O'Brien
Visit Louis Mendoza's blog and track his journey across America. Go to reach.cla.umn.edu/mendoza.