MAGIC VALLEY — During the pandemic, the Idaho State Museum started a program to amplify the voices of the Hispanic and Latino communities in Idaho.
Nuestras Voces, a virtual program, has a variety of different courses held every month. The museum aims to share different stories with Idahoans to show what the Hispanic and Latino community in Idaho is doing and to teach others about different cultures.
“It’s refreshing and I think to me it tells me it doesn’t matter who you are or where you came from, you can contribute, you can give back," Whitney said.
“Nuestras Voces the way I see it is a platform to elevate what the Latin community, the Hispanic community, the Latinx community is doing in Idaho," Ceci Richardson Salvador, Visitor Services Representative for the Idaho State Museum, said.
Since November, the museum has held monthly programs showcasing a variety of topics ranging from how the language of dance connects communities to the story of Alice Mondragon Whitney, an Idahoan who started the first Latina-owned aviation business.
“It’s refreshing and I think to me it tells me it doesn’t matter who you are or where you came from, you can contribute, you can give back and it doesn’t matter what your last name is, nobody cares," Whitney said.
With the program, they hope to not only show different cultures but to educate people on what certain things in those cultures mean to people. Recently they had a course showing the different foods from different countries but they say those dishes are more than just food.
“What does that mean to you? It’s like Mole. What does it mean to you? It’s more than the product it’s all of the emotions that it stirs up in you as an individual and made you the person you are,” Whitney said.
They hope sharing these stories will inspire hope in the Hispanic and Latino community.
“And the sense of being proud. It doesn’t matter what you are, what you bring to the community, what your contribution is to the community, it doesn’t matter the level of contribution," Salvador said.
Their goal is to continue to amplify the voices of the Hispanic and Latino community and find others in the state who are making history.
“Our purpose is to raise those voices that are probably not being heard or people that are doing something remarkable in the treasure valley and beyond in Idaho," Salvador said.
To find out more about the program you can visit their Facebook page.