The Demon Tattler

Does Your Town Feel Like Home?

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Does Your Town Feel Like Home?

Cheyenne Gallegos, Author

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There seems to be some friction between local teens and older residents in Santa Fe. Some believe it is a racial issue. Others believe the real problem is the age difference.

In 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, 47.4 percent of the population in Santa Fe identified as Hispanic, and 48.1 percent identified as White Non-Hispanic. In 2017, 54.7 percent of people living in Santa Fe identified as Hispanic while 40 percent identified as White Non-Hispanic.

Data on Santa Fe also shows that there is a higher percentage (20.1 percent) of persons over the age of 65 than persons under the age of 18 (19.7 percent).

Even though the city appears to have a higher percentage of Hispanics living here, according to The Albuquerque Journal, the percentage of Latinos living in downtown Santa Fe is approximately 21 percent, and the average age of all people who live downtown is 65. This means that downtown Santa Fe has become overwhelmingly white — and old.

“Downtown is overpriced, and catered to tourists and not locals,” says Daniel Torres a parent at Santa Fe High.

Now, the locals are selling high-priced artwork to tourists and waiting tables; they cater to visitors rather than truly live in their own downtown.

This can have an effect on local teens that can’t be captured in numbers.

Brianna Olivas, a student-athlete at Santa Fe High, shared a story. “One day, my mom and I were walking around a store and an older white female followed us around. My mother and I were speaking Spanish, and she yelled at us for that. She told us to speak English because we live in the United States.”

While some teenagers believe that older white people dislike Hispanics, others believe that they simply do not like our generation. Heaven Martinez, another student-athlete at Santa Fe High, feels that it isn’t a person’s skin color that matters but the age difference between them and the elder they are interacting with. “I feel like these elderly people are just afraid of our generation,” she said.

Amara Ortiz, a student who is a member of ROTC, believes that the issue is age as well as race. “Although I have not been in a difficult experience with an older adult, I have friends who have been treated with disrespect by some adults,” she explained. she just wants everyone to get along. She hopes that kids can become more respectful and adults become less fearful.

“Statistics may show many differences between people, but that gives no reason for us to stereotype each other,” Mariah Anderson, another SFHS student said, explaining that although everyone has problems, that doesn’t mean we get to treat each other with disrespect. She added, “We can try to get along better with each other.”

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Does Your Town Feel Like Home?