Christmas, Culture and Inclusion
With Posada Navideña, LUPE Uses Mexican Culture and Tradition to Promote Census Participation by Colonia Residents
- Colonias are some of the nation’s hardest to count neighborhoods
- LUPE uses the power of culture to reach and engage colonia residents
- Christmas Posada and Census-themed Mexican bingo are examples
- LUPE’s Censo Lotería was just featured in the New York Times
Colonias are some of the hardest to count neighborhoods in hard-to-count majority Hispanic counties along the border. But border organization La Unión del Pueblo Entero is employing cultural strategies to ensure their inclusion in the 2020 Census.
This year, LUPE’s posada navideña, taking place Saturday, December 21, 2019, will focus on the importance of participation in the 2020 Census.
A Mexican Cultural Tradition
At Christmas time, LUPE families gather for our annual posadas, where we show our appreciation for our members’ participation during the year. A Posada is an important Mexican Christmas tradition where we reenact the Bible story of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem and their search for a place of refuge.
Joseph and Mary participated in the Census, according to the Bible’s Christmas narrative. Joseph brought the very pregnant Mary to Bethlehem–where Jesus was to be born–in order to participate in the Census.
The Christmas story and its posada reenactments remind us that we all deserve inclusion and belonging. Whether we are aiding families seeking asylum at the border or encouraging immigrant families of the colonias to participate in the 2020 Census, we all have a role to play in making this nation a more welcoming, compassionate place.
Culture is Power
Our annual posada is one way that LUPE uses the power of culture to increase participation. Through cultural activities, we can engage community members in complex political and policy ideas.
Another example is Censo Lote, where we altered the Mexican lotería game to focus on the importance of the Census. With colorful card images and accompanying educational descriptions, community members learn about the stakes of an accurate Census count while enjoying a lively game of Mexican bingo.
Our Censo Lote-focused outreach efforts recently caught the attention of the New York Times as one of many local efforts to reach hard-to-count colonias.
Colonias are rural subdivisions that fall behind city neighborhoods in their services, housing quality, and infrastructure. They are some of the hardest to count neighborhoods and they are located in some of the hardest to count counties in the US.