Latinos are the largest minority group in Oregon, with roots tracing as far back as the 16th century.
In 1774, Juan Pérez reached the Oregon Coast to become the first European to describe Yaquina Head and make landfall in the present-day Oregon. Next came the vaqueros (horsemen and cattle herders) and mule packers, hired to help with cattle drives to the Oregon Territory. Known as Buckaroos, these Spanish cowboys settled in Harney County to work on ranches and are among the pioneers of Eastern Oregon.
Latino farm workers have been essential to the state’s vineyards, hop farms and coveted farm-to-table culinary scene. Today Latino entrepreneurship through small businesses is part of Oregon’s everyday fabric. Learn more about the history of Latinos in Oregon from the Oregon Encyclopedia.