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March 30, 2011

Small groups designed their own Mercado

En espanol lo mas pronto posible.

Last Saturday’s community workshop was a tremendous success.  Over 40 people from Portland’s Latino community attended, from current business owners to people with high ambitions and energy to help make the new Mercado a success.  Pietro Ferrari, the Executive Director of Hacienda CDC opened with moving remarks about the need to work together at the community level for a Mercado.  Nathan Teske, the Community Economic Director at Hacienda CDC described the example of the Mercado Central in Minneapolis, MN that turned around a neighborhood and created many new jobs and opportunities for the Latino and other immigrant communities in the area.  Ellen Wyoming, project manager of the student group Adelante Planning gave a presentation with data on the state of Latino’s in Oregon and Portland and presented the results of an economic development survey (with data compiled by Adelante member Bridger Wineman) that was conducted over the past two months among the Latino community in Portland. (Survey data will be made available online soon).

Workshop participants learn results of a survey to help plan the Portland Mercado

An interactive planning activity created by Adelante Planners Abigail Cermak and David Ruelas was a hit.  Participants worked in small groups to design a prototype for the Mercado, choosing site selection criteria, programming strategies, and layout and design.  The enthusiasm for designing a Mercado was truly inspirational. It was difficult to get the groups to stop working on their market examples in order to present them!  Some excellent ideas came out of the group work that Adelante Planning will use to help their research and recommendations to Hacienda CDC and the wider community.

Community members presented their ideas to shape the Portland Mercado

After each group presented their ideas the groups sat down again with their facilitators to discuss obstacles to entering business in Portland, discussed potential solutions and kinds of resources needed to attain those solutions.  Finally, they discussed ownership ideas and who should be in charge of the market.

Ideas from the workshop will guide Adelante Planning in making formal recommendations for location, goods and services, and ownership structure for the Portland Mercado.  There is a lot of energy in the community for this project.  We are very excited for the next steps!

Lastly, big thanks go to volunteer facilitators Erika Abad, Sara Morissey, and Hacienda staff member Valentina Smith who contributed immensely to the success of the event on Saturday.  Also – a very big thank you to the Reverend Gabe Lamazares at St. Michaels and All Angels Episcopal Church for the use of the church to hold the event.  Thank you!

"This is good stuff!"

If you are interested in learning more please contact Flavio Cornejos or Nathan Teske at Hacienda CDC at: 503-595-2111 or e-mail us at

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