Sacramento is an amazing place. It diverse of people and plant life.
The population of Sacramento as of 1990 was 1,233,000. As of the 1990 census 440,000 or 1/3 of the population is not white European descent. Of that 440,000 non-white population 122,000 is African American, 14,000 were Native American, 135,000 were Asian and 7,265 were Hawaiian. Between 10,000 and 15,000 middle eastern descent people live in the county in 1990. The healthy Asian population included refugees of the Vietnam war including 20,000 Hmong and 20,000 Vietnamese. The diversity of this place adds to the beauty here.
As I walked around Sacramento and made contact with individuals, I was met by many smiling faces. What an amazing experience to see that people of very different cultural and ethnic diversity feel free to travel to all parts of the Sacramento. The farms around the county are run by a diversity of people, including wonderful organic farms run by Japanese and Hispanic families.
Sacramento is a place where the Northern Hemispheric plant life and Southern hemispheric plant life can be found growing next to each other. It is a place where you will find a Black Walnut growing next to a palm tree or orange trees and figs trees dropping fruit next to an apple tree.
Several of us took a walk around the city going into the churches of the people. We visited a Korean church, a catholic church that is a shrine to Our lady of Guadalupe, and a African American Episcopalinan church. The architecture of these churhes are diverse and contrasting. The interior and exterior of the buildings reflect the differences as well as the sameness of the people.
We also visited some parks. In one church there is an amazing mural of Aztec/Mayan cultural scenes, painted in strikingly bright colors (Pictures will be posted soon). Other parks reflect the serenity of a buddist temple or an oasis (including palm trees and cacti) of a small urban park.
I talked to some homeless people who told me that overall Sacramento has been a homeless-friendly city. However, a couple of months the scene became hostile as police moved people away from long-time camps along the rivers. Some felt that it was part of process of bringing the WTO ministries to Sacramento. It was thought that the mayor and business people wanted Sacramento to look "presentable". Some of the people I talked to say that they hope that the river bank camps will reopen once the WTO is over.
There is lots of very beautiful housing of an old spanish style. The older neighborhoods sport a wonderful urban forest that towers over the houses. They also house some wonderful ethnic food restaurants and other businesses. There are few skyscrapers. We hope to make lots of new friends in the diverse city.
The city has many small newspapers some in languges other than English. Most Hispanic people in the city speak both English and Spanish. Most White people speak only English.
We are here and events started today. The meetings of the Ministries ministers begins on Sunday. More to come...