2021 New Immigrant Communities Project

  • In June 2021, 12 high schoolers, three social studies teachers and four college students worked with GIS software to map where Omaha’s Karen, Somali and Guatemalan communities live, work, worship and shop and then compared this uncovered information to Omaha’s late 19th and early 20th century immigrants.

    Highlights included two Benson High School graduates, one Karen speaking and one Somali speaker, helping with the program by serving as tour guides and interpreters as participants spent the day in their communities. The group also worked with Omaha Public Schools Migrant and Refugee program educators and Omaha’s Refugee Task Force. The maps the students produced were presented to the task force’s members and shared with new immigrants from these communities as they arrived in Omaha. Plus, attendees enjoyed plenty of food from each of these countries, including Papya Salad and Somosas made by Hser Nay and African spiced tea made by Sophia.

    The program was made possible thanks to funding from the Sherwood Foundation. Special thanks to the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Geography Department for hosting the program and to instructor Paul Hunt for all his help. 

    Below you will find pdfs of the final maps. 

    Omaha's Karen Community Map

    Omaha's Somali Community Map

    Omaha's Guatemalan Community Map

    Also, explore the students' final projects about the Karen, Somali and Guatemalan communities.