The Bighorn Basin, along with other beet-growing counties, such as Goshen, and sheep-raising counties such as Carbon, attracted permanent populations of Hispanics through the 20th century. Hispanics who moved here got a mixed message. The towns valued their labor, but not necessarily their participation as citizens.
Campbell County's booming growth has provided opportunity not only for transient, poorly educated laborers, but for people with different skill sets: equipment operators, educators, managers, retailers and merchants. Hispanics with those skills were among those who have come to Campbell County to work and make a home.
A U.S. Census report released March 3 revealed a 60 percent increase in Wyoming’s Hispanic and Latino population since 2000. The Hispanic population in Wyoming now totals 50,200, nearly 9 percent of the total population. Out of 23 counties, only Hot Springs County did not have an increase in Hispanic population in the last 10 years. But the numbers don’t tell the whole story. The make-up of Hispanic migrants to Wyoming has changed from mostly single men working in agriculture to whole families attracted to construction, service and energy-based jobs. And rather than originating from Mexico, today’s Hispanic immigrants to Wyoming come from all over the U.S. and Central America.