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Ethnicity Studies: Hispanic American Diversity

Introduction

In the United States population, one of every eight people is of the Spanish or Latino American ethnicity group and as a whole, they are known as Hispanics (Schaefer, 2006). Different ethnicities make up the Hispanic group but the major ones are Mexicans, South American (Colombian, Ecuadorian and Peruvian), Central American (Salvadorans, Guatemalans, and Hondurans), Cubans, and Puerto Ricans. These groups migrated to America intending to better their lives. Nowadays, most of the Hispanics leaving in America were born here. This research paper will identify the linguistic, political, social, economical, religious, and familial statuses of Hispanic groups living in the United States.

The Hispanic American culture

Although these Hispanics live in the United States, they do not forget their language and pass it on to generations that come after them. They are a group of people who have huge respect for their culture and are not influenced by the cultures around them. When it comes to politics, major political parties are not worried because they know most Hispanic is not interested in politics. This is because they are mostly in America illegally or non-citizens thus they cannot vote (Schaefer, 2006).

Mexican Americans

Their language is a mixture of English and Spanish and it is popularly known as Spanglish. A Civil Rights movement that was formed by Mendoza gave the Mexican Americans the platform to be involved in political issues (Mendoza, 2000). The movement involved many issues ranging from better education to restoration of land grants, to voting, political rights, and farmworker’s rights. Like all other immigrants, the Mexicans went to America looking for the American dream. This was the basis of their social level in relating to the Americans. When it comes to education, most of the Mexicans in America go past the level of high school. The underpayment the Mexicans receive causes them to continue pushing for fair pay thus affecting their economy. The focus of their families is based on the grandparents. The people who are mostly considered the rock of the family are mainly the grandmothers. The grandmothers were expected to teach children the language that most of their parents had forgotten. Another key responsibility was to feed and hold the young ones when they were born not forgetting they were expected to tell them stories that made up their history. Another important key factor to note is the Mexicans make up 59.3 percent of the total population in the Hispanic community making them the largest group (Ramirez, 2004).

Puerto Ricans

Their native language is Spanish. Their politics begin at what is commonly known as class politics, which brings all ethnic groups together of the same working class. The Puerto Ricans who first established themselves in America were inclined by essential political ideas such as socialism, nationalism, and internationalism. This was not anything to them and most of them chose to stay away from politics and rarely voted even though they knew that by them voting they would get a chance to better their living standards. This led them to separate themselves to improve their social-economic and political status in society through their ethnicity. Unity is close to the hearts of the Puerto Ricans when it comes to keeping track of family backgrounds.

Puerto Ricans choose to keep to themselves so that they do not get lost in the American culture. They like to keep their traditions throughout the generations because they value family and respect is fundamental in family relations. High praises are given to the elders and mothers for the role they play in the family setup. The extended families frequently come together for weddings, holidays, and birthdays. The women are expected to decide on foods to be bought and served to the family. Their traditional meals are served when the whole family is brought together. The other key factor to note is their family ties are strong and they make sure not to lose them. They make up 9.7 percent of the total population in the Hispanic community making them the second largest group after the Mexicans (Ramirez, 2004).

Cubans

They mostly speak Spanish though they have adopted the American culture to their culture in a huge way. They are the third-largest group forming 3.5 percent of the total population in the Hispanic community (Ramirez, 2004). Though they have adapted to the American culture hugely, they are still hugely involved with people from their country. The Cubans living in America are religious people, who have many denominations among them such as, Protestants, Jewish, spiritualist and nonreligious but the most dominant religion is the Roman Catholic. To keep their traditions and heritage, they source it from their strong family ties.

El Salvadorians

They form part of the larger group of the Hispanic community that is the Central Americans. Their basic language is Spanish. They migrated from their country to escape poverty and war-making most of them poor. Due to the poverty state in their country, they are poor economically. Most of the El Salvadorians enter the United States illegally making them not vote because they risk the choice of being deported back to their country. The income is usually low and they cannot ask for increments in their salaries. The little money they get, they send it to their families back home. Although their main religion is Roman Catholic, they have also diverted to Pentecostal branches as a result of their shared beliefs. Their culture is centered on their religious beliefs and family. Families are held in high esteem among the El Salvadorians. In the family setting, the woman is expected to take care of the children, cook, and clean whereas the feminine children are to take care of their younger siblings.

Conclusion

On a final note, the Hispanics do not have differences across their cultures except for the fact they came from different locations. The common thing across the four groups mentioned above revolve around the reason that brought them to this country, language, family, and religion. Factors that were dominant in the four groups were the desire to achieve the ‘American Dream’ and the hope of bettering their lives and those they left in their country. Another key element was the closeness they kept to families and religion. Similarities across the religion are noticed with ease across the groups. They all have Spanish ancestry thus most of them speak Spanish as their native language hence they are referred to as Hispanics.

Reference List

Mendoza C. V. (2000). History of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement. The Journal for Multimedia History, (vol 3, pp1-9).

Ramirez R. R. (2004). We the people: Hispanics in the United States. Web.

Schaefer T. R. (2006).Racial and Ethnic Groups, (10th ed.). United States: Prentice-Hall.

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