The capital of Hmong America is St. Paul, Minnesota, where a bustling market covers more than a city block, crowded with shoppers. Nearly 200 thousand Hmong people live in America. Some have just arrived from camps in Thailand—they are the last Hmong refugees allowed into the U-S. Others have lived here for almost 30 years. In Laos the Hmong were peasant farmers. During the Vietnam War, the Central Intelligence Agency recruited the Hmong to gather intelligence in the borderland between Vietnam and Laos. At the height of the war, there were 30 thousand Hmong soldiers. They suffered horrific losses and helped to save many American lives. After the communist take-over of Laos, the Hmong fled to refugee camps in Thailand. Nearly a third of the Hmong population in Laos eventually migrated to the United States.
Houa Thao, Ai Moua, Blia Yang, Peng Yang, Scholar Dia Cha, Kate Mueller and Senator Mee Moua
Daran Kravanh, Accordionistgrew up in Cambodia in a musical family. Now living in Tacoma, Washington, Kravanh produced a CD, “Music Through the Dark” that accompanies the book about his life by Bree Lafreniere. Kravanh travels throughout the US and abroad to perform and tell stories about his life and the continued plight of the Cambodian people. musicsurvival.com