Hispanic and Latino New Orleans: Immigration and Identity since the Eighteenth Century, published by LSU Press in December 2015, provides the first overview of how diverse Hispanic and Latino communities have helped to create the Crescent City as a distinctive US place over several centuries, with an emphasis on the period leading up to Katrina and since that devastating hurricane of 2005 to the present. The book is also, more broadly, a contribution to the literature on ethnic change in the US and thereby informs the escalating debates about immigration and national identity.

The monument honoring Benito Juárez, president of Mexico from 1858–1872, on the Basin Street neutral ground. The long-standing Latino community of New Orleans erected it 1972, the centennial of his death (photograph by A. Sluyter, January 14, 2007). Mexican restaurants moved into Little Vietnam, in eastern Orleans Parish. Some of the most devastating flooding occurred there during Hurricane Katrina, attracting many Latino reconstruction workers (photograph by A. Sluyter, February 22, 2007).

New Orleans has long hidden much of its Hispanic and Latino sides in plain sight. Tourists visiting the French Quarter see the Cabildo, the municipal hall that dates to the period of Spanish colonial rule in the second half of the eighteenth century. History students in Louisiana schools learn about Bernardo de Gálvez, the Spanish governor who sent his militias to help defeat the British in the American Revolution and established the community of people from the Canary Islands, the Isleños, in St. Bernard Parish. Various plaques and monuments throughout the city commemorate more recent relationships with Latin America rather than Spain, most notably the colossal statues of Simon Bolívar, Benito Juárez, and Francisco Morazán Quesada along Basin Street. Other landscape elements such as the Spanish-language signage that proliferates along Williams Boulevard in North Kenner might be more mundane but manifest the dynamic Latino and Hispanic communities that helped to create the city before the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and to reconstruct it afterwards.

Yet until now, anyone searching the bookstores for a comprehensive account of that Latino and Hispanic side of New Orleans has gone home empty handed. Please check the "Order a Copy" page for updates on when the book will become available.

This website acts as a companion to the book. The following web maps are associated with the research we did for this chapter, and we publish some of them and others in the book as static, paper maps. The book provides a full understanding of their content, data sources, methods, and why we produced them and not others.

These web maps have the advantage over the ones in the book of being dynamic and interactive. You can use the menu along the top of each map to open an information pane or the legend and to search for specific places or addresses. You can zoom in and pan. And you can click on any census tract to bring up a pop-up box with details of the variables in the legend as well as many others.

The first two work by sliding one map layer over the other, the first comparing the area flooded by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 to the number of Hispanics and Latinos per census tract in 2000, the second comparing the number of Hispanics and Latinos enumerated during Census 2000 and Census 2010, and the third making the same types of comparisons but side-by-side rather than with a slider. Each of the chapters pages on this website contains a selection of similar web maps associated with the research for that chapter, each focused on a particular national-origin group such as Hondurans or Mexicans.

For maps on each of the Hispanic and Latino communities we treat in the book (Isleños, Cubans, Mexicans, Hondurans, Brazilians, and others), see the pages for individual chapters.

All the maps on this website are © 2013 by Case Watkins and Andrew Sluyter but open source and licensed through the Creative Commons as attribution-noncommercial 3.0,  which allows others to use the data and programming to produce non-commercial derivative products as long as they include a statement that acknowledges Case Watkins and Andrew Sluyter as the creators and the US Census Bureau, the USGS, and Geolytics as sources of the data.

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