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Hispanic American Diversity

Hispanic Americans are Americans who were born in Spanish speaking lands with a population of about a population of about 35 million, or approximately 13 percent of the US total population. They are the nation’s fastest – growing minority by the year 2050. Hispanic Americans are also called “Latinos” come from a variety of ethnic backgrounds. Almost two thirds are Americans origin. Hispanic Americans are united by the Spanish Language, which most of them continue to use. And by their most common religion Roman Catholicism both are legacies of Spain and its conquest of vast areas of the America.

The Hispanic American way of life emphasizes family values they are also religious people. Religious and other holiday community celebrations and a wide range of food and ways of speaking that have come to influence all Americans. The Latinas are expected to help their Family succeeds through child care and housekeeping chores. This research paper will talk about the Four Hispanic groups living in the United States identifying their linguistic, political, social, economic religious, familial conditions and status namely: • Mexican Americans • Puerto Ricans • Cuban Americans • Central and South Americans

Page 3 Mexican Americans Mexican Americans are a product of historical development more than four centuries ago when Spain conquered Mexico and it made it a colony. They are the second oldest component of American society. Mexican Americans specific language is Spanish and part of them talked English and some native languages. Mexican American has emerged as a district and visible social groups in the United States. Partly because of the civil rights movements of the 1960’s, they asserted themselves and attempted to take what they perceived to be their rightful place in American life.

The Mexican American population shifted from a basically rural to a mostly urban of life. As a city – dwelling minority they found themselves sharing the problems of the rest of the urban poor; lack of jobs, second – rate housing, and educational difficulties. These groups of people are sufferings economic crisis. By the early 1990s more than 90 percent of the Mexican Americans were living in or near cities, they have began to seek political and economic power by organizing themselves and registering the vote.

The border between Mexico and the United States is the largest border in the world separating dire poverty from the unparalleled affluence and opportunity. Mexico has never been able to develop a working and prosperous economy for all its citizens. Puerto Ricans Puerto Ricans have lived in the mainland of United States since 1830s, they are not a single ethnic group, and they have inherited a mixture of culture. At that time, there was fairly sizable trade between the island and New York City, but immigration was not large. By the end of the century there were only about 1,500 Puerto Ricans in all of the United States.

Page 4 In 1992 there was about 2. 75 million Puerto Ricans on the mainland. In that year unemployment averaged more than 20 percent for several years than those who were employed. In 1980 many were lost their jobs, the educated professional people and government workers, they began to leave the islands, creating what they called the “brain drain” losing some most educated residents. Puerto Ricans families have five or more children’s, the families tend to be large, and they have been less successful economically than any of the Hispanics living in the United States.

In the year 1990’s more than 40 percent were living below the poverty level. Part of the reasons for this lack of success can be traced to lower levels of education and a lack of proficiency in the English Language. Cuban Americans In the year 1990s there were 1 million Cuban Americans in the United States. They have come mostly as refugees, which distinguish them from the other larger Hispanic groups Because of this refugee status they were offered help from the Federal Government that the other groups did not receive.

The Cuban Refugee Resettlement Program provided them with financial and housing assistance. Cubans Americans live in most major cities in the United States, and the largest settlement is in South Florida. They have been more economically successful than any other Hispanics, this situation is accounted for by the fact that they were mostly members of the middle class in Cuba, and they have established themselves in business and professions in the United States. Page 5 Central and South Americans For more than a century, Central and South Americans have continuously immigrated to the United States.

Their countries of origin include: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Belize, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Columbia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. These countries vary greatly in size, geography, history, language, levels of urbanization and industrialization and number of immigrants who have resettled in the United States. Immigrants from these countries have been incorporated into the social fabric of the United States in different ways; the US government has welcomed some groups more than others.

Central and South American immigrants are a very diverse group; the population includes people from different socio economic, ethno cultural and geographic backgrounds. The majority of Central and South Americans speak Spanish and others bilingual communications. The population also includes indigenous Indians who speak their own languages, and in the coastal area Central Americans speak English. Racially and ethnically, Central and South Americans are the descendants of indigenous Indian, African and European people; the population also includes people of Asian descent.

Although the majority of South and Central Americans is Roman Catholic, the group also includes many Protestants and a smaller number of Jews and people from other religions. Economic and sociopolitical instabilities are the most important determinant factors for South and Central Americans to come to the United States. Overall, their relocation in the United Page 6 States is the direct result of economic and political stresses in their home countries. According to the U. S. Census, in 1990, there were 2,359,432 Central and South Americans living in the United States.

( Multicultural Heritage, A Guide To America’s Principal Ethnic Groups with Carlos and Jorge Del Pinal) Conclusion: This four Americans Hispanic group’s has major differences and commonalities among the groups stated below: Mexican Americans are creating their own destiny in the United States while functioning in a society that is often concerned about the immigration, legal and illegal. In the eyes of some, including a few in positions of authority, to be Mexican American is to be suspected of being in the country illegally or, at least, of knowingly harboring illegal aliens. Mexican Americans now had become outsiders in their own homeland.

The ground was laid for the social structure of the Southwest in the 20th century. An area of growing productivity in which minority groups have increased in size but remain largely subordinate (Moquin and Van Doren 1971:251). The Puerto Ricans people are divided between those who live in the island commonwealth and those who live on the mainland. Puerto Ricans who migrate to the mainland most often come in search of better jobs and housing. Both Mexican Americans and Puerto Ricans, as groups, have lower incomes, less formal education, and greater health problems than White Americans.

Both the family and religion are the strength of the Puerto Ricans and Mexican Americans. Page 7 Central and South Americans experience high unemployment levels compared with whites, yet they are better educated than most Hispanics. This reflects the plight that often faces recent immigrants. Upon relocating to a new country, they initially experience downward mobility in terms of occupational status. The challenges to immigrants from Latin America are reflected in the experience of Colombians, numbering close to a half million in the United States.

The initial arrivals from this South American nation after World War I were educated the middleclass people who quickly assimilated to life in the United States and being an immigrants they had to adapt to a new culture and to new urban life.

References

Boswell, T, D. and Curtis, J. B. (1984) the Cuban-American Experience (Rowman) Cordova Carlos and Del Pinal Jorge, Our Multicultural Heritage: A Guide to America’s Principal Ethnic groups, Retrieved November 21, 2006 from http://userwww. sfsu. edu/~raquelrp/art3. htm Fitzpatrick, J. P.(1987) Puerto Rican Americans, 2nd ed. (Prentice) Gribler, Leo, and others (1970) Mexican American People, the Nation’s Second Largest Minority (Free Press). Hispanic Americans, Retrieved November 16, 2006, from Compton’s Encyclopedia Volume 10, pages 162-169. Llanes, Jose (1984) Cuban- Americans; Master’s of Survival (Enslow). Rodriguez Gregory (2006) where have all the Mexican Americans Gone? Los Angeles Times November 12, p M4 Linguistic, political, social, economic, religious, and familial conventions and/or statuses Conclude the essay by

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