March 2, 2011 | KETV 7 ABC | Original Article

Latinos Comprise Nearly 10 Percent Of Neb. Population

A detailed look at Nebraska's changing ethnic landscape showed growth among the state's Hispanic population.

Recent census data revealed the state's Hispanic population is up 77 percent from the year 2000.The 24th Street corridor provided a snapshot of a thriving community whose impact is growing by the day. South Omaha's business district is bustling with activity, especially in hot spots like the Guaca Maya Mexican restaurant.“(The rising Hispanic population) has been a staple that has really kept business growing,” said Virgil Armendariz Jr., of the Guaca Maya Mexican restaurant.“I think it's a positive change here.

I think it's headed in the right direction, making Omaha a better known place to live,” said resident Lupe Martinez.Locals said the growth in Hispanic population means growth in south Omaha's development.“I think it's for the better,” said resident Glenn Burgardt. “You've got very low vacancy rates on 24th Street. You've got improvements being made in the city.

You've got new businesses starting up all over the place, and all of this is adding to the economy.”Many locals are happy with the Hispanic community's growth.“Where I come from, there was only a small place to go, and now, you've got a lot of diversity and places to go,” Martinez said.“It's very exciting to see this, and it adds for the opportunity of exchange and for the appreciation of our community to grow,” Armendariz said.