For the NorthEnd residents, the phenomenological history of their neighborhood is rife with the remnants of wage slavery, poor living conditions, and racial discrimination. Conversely, some religious institutions and family owned business remain in operation today, illustrating a strong desire from those mostly Mexican immigrants to integrate into the fabric of Wichita, fostering a sense of belonging through food, the arts, and religiosity.

Dating back over 100 years, rail yards and meatpacking companies actively recruited migrant Mexican workers with promises of transportation and housing. However, provisions for the workers and their families were insufficient. As worker colonies grew, new immigrants moved into North Wichita in search of better living conditions and more viable employment, they were met with opposition from labor unions that wanted to exclude Mexicans from working in Wichita.

The 1915 Kansas Census listed only 135 Mexicans living in Wichita. 74 of these were adult males and all were listed as laborers. There were only 23 adult women all listed as housewives and hence there were only 23 families that had 38 children among them. By the 1925 Kansas Census, the number of Mexicans living in the city had grown to 934.The North End community of Mexicans lived mostly between 21st Street and 25th Street within a few blocks west of Broadway.

According to the 2010 Kansas Census, Wichita has a Latino population of approximately 58,348 people, of which 49,000 are of Mexican heritage. Although Latino and Asian populations live all throughout the city, the Northend continues to be an area with a high concentration of Latino and Southeast Asian residents.


North End- Beginnings

Mexicans have been coming to Wichita starting in the 1870s, when they came as Vaqueros on the cattle drives. They numbers remained small, however, for much of the 1800s.

Read full article

North End Growth

Meat packing plants provided more year round employment. Cudahy was the major meat packing plant in Wichita and employed many Mexican workers, attracting the employees to the North End community.

Read full article 

North End Demographic Change

Like other immigrants, Mexicans came to south central Kansas in search of a better life for themselves and their families.

Read full article 


speaking about her experience during Summer Mural Jam 2018: And so it was really a nice time of kind of fellowship with family members, too. And then just random people walking by that. I didn’t really know, but they would pick out and like, tell me some story about, you know, like one of my aunts or my grandma or somebody that they recognize someone up on the wall and telling me different things about about some of their younger days or crazier days. It was just kind of fun. I feel like I got to know some of the women in this, in this portraiture or in this mural better than I did when I started that week.

Heather Byers, Artist – 100 21st St. E
“The Women Who Mold Us”