(Olive Branch, MS) In what’s very likely a first in the Mid-South, the public topping off ceremony for the new Methodist hospital in DeSoto County, took place in two languages.
Construction worker Cruz Salguero became the impromptu translator, ”There was not a whole lot to think about, you know. It was five minutes before so we just have to go there and do what we have to do."
The ceremony marks the beginning of the finishing stages for the new hospital, only the second in DeSoto, which, like the Mid-South is seeing more Spanish-speaking families moving in.
”Well, a lot of our construction workers are Hispanic and we certainly wanted to respect them and show them we care about them and appreciate what they’re doing,” said RuthAnn Hale of Methodist Healthcare.
In fact, 50% of the construction workers here are Hispanic.
WREG was the first to report more Hispanics moving here nearly 25 years ago in a week-long series of reports.
The bilingual ceremony reflects not only the growing number of Hispanics in the Mid-South, but their growing influence as well.
As the last beam fell into place, there’s a likelihood ceremonies like this will become common.
”Definitely as our Hispanic population burgeons, we’re gonna see more and more,” said Hale.
Because people here say it’s important that everyone share in this areas growth and prosperity.
”I think this is good to let everybody know what’s going on and what other think about it" said Salguero.