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Mendota: 'The Cantaloupe Center of the World'

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The city of Mendota is located in the heart of California’s fertile Central Valley. Originally a railroad station built in 1891, and later incorporated as a city in 1942, it’s nestled in western Fresno County 40 miles west of the city of Fresno. The railroad closed the station in 1910 and agriculture took over as the major industry for employment in the area. A city now known as “The Cantaloupe Center of the World,” with a population estimated at 11,014 residents, over 95 percent of the population is Latino and 50 percent are foreign born. With nearly half the community being immigrant farm workers, there is a clear separation amongst the residents which is further exaggerated by a communication barrier on how to improve Mendota from within.