SWAR Latinos want to make museum dream a reality

Hispanic Heritage Month

HOPE, Ark. (KTAL/KMSS) – Some southwest Arkansas Latino residents are receiving some high-powered support to share their heritage with the rest of the community, and the state.

Hope, Arkansas, is known as the birthplace of former President Bill Clinton. Now a group of community members wants to bring another tourist destination to the city: the first Latino Heritage Museum in Arkansas.

“I have the Latino blood in my veins, I have the DNA of a Mexican,” said Porfirio Gutierrez, president of the Latino Heritage Museum. “I’m proud of my heritage and and I want to show other people what it entails, what it contains.”

The Mexican consul in town Thursday to help generate support for the project.

“It’s a magnificent dream because this particular museum will show the past, the present and the future of Hispanic traditions here in Arkansas,” said Rodolfo Quilantan, consul of Mexico.

In Hope, 31 percent of the population is Latino.

“The ground work is there, the dynamics for getting it going and the reasonings for getting it going is there,” said Mayor Steve Montgomery.

The only thing missing is money to purchase a location for the museum. The group is eyeing a house that’s for sale next to President Clinton’s former home.

“This is such a good thing for Hope that will bring people from all over the place,” said Eddie Garcia, secretary of the Latino Heritage Museum. “President Clinton, Governor Huckabee, everybody’s been reached out to, everybody applauded. But, we have not gotten a single donation from anyone.”

Officials said they will need to raise about $200,000 to secure a home for the museum. If you’d like more information or to donate, click here.

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