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Hispanic American Diversity

Essay by   •  August 22, 2011  •  Case Study  •  1,581 Words (7 Pages)  •  1,828 Views

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Hispanic American Diversity

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) defines Hispanic or Latino as a person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race. The population by race and Hispanic origin for the United States according to the 2000 census was 35,305,818 (www.census.gov/prod/2001pubs/c2kbr01-pdf). That is 12.5% of the total population for the entire United States of America. That number changes to 50.5 million Hispanics in the United States in 2010, which means that Hispanics make up 16% of the entire United States population. According to the 2010 census bureau report "More than half of the growth in the total population of the United States between the years of 2000 and 2010 was due to the increase in the Hispanic population" (www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-02.pdf).

The racial group of Hispanics can be broken down into subgroups composed of many ethnic groups counted as being of Hispanic descent. For this assignment I have chosen the following ethnic cultures to discuss: Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, Cuban Americans, and Dominicans.

The largest subgroup of Hispanic or Latino race is the ethnic group, Mexicans. Mexicans originate from Mexico, which borders on the southern end of the United States. A large number of Mexicans became American citizens when Spain ceded Most of California, Arizona, and New Mexico to the United States for 15 million dollars in 1848. Spain also recognized the cessation of Texas. Those Mexican nationals living in the areas ceded to the United States were made United States citizens after remaining on the ceded lands for a period of one year. Thus began the Mexican American population of the United States.

The rich Mexican heritage and culture has continued among Mexican American citizens. The predominant language is Spanish. Many Mexican Americans living in large Mexican communities peak little or no English. The language barrier hinders Mexican Americans in society and the workforce as well. Although English is spoken by the younger generations and by those who must to communicate for work the language spoken in the home is Spanish, thus honoring their origins. The predominant religion is Roman Catholic though there is an ever increasing following for other religions such as Evangelicalism, Jehovah's Witness, and Church of Latter-day Saints (www.kwintessential.co.uk/articles/article/Mexico/Mexican-American-Culture/1140). The economic status of Mexican Americans is still relatively low in comparison to White Americans. Mexican Americans have a deep regard for family and enjoy socializing amongst their vast extended family. The regard for family is so strong that often familial obligations take precedents over individual desires.

The second largest sub-group of Hispanic or Latino population in the United States is Puerto Rican. Puerto Ricans are American citizens and have been since 1917 (www.yale.edu/ynhi/curriculum/units/1980/6/80.06.08.x.html). Puerto Ricans originate from the island of Puerto Rico located off of the coast of Florida. Island Puerto Ricans and mainland Puerto Ricans differ in several ways. Puerto Rico governs itself as a commonwealth state and those who reside on the island enjoy many of the same conveniences and privileges of any other American citizen with the exception of the right to vote in presidential and congressional elections. Mainland Puerto Ricans can vote and even run for elected offices in the United States political field. Many mainland Puerto Ricans have adapted to the new experiences and culture of America. Family life on the island is much closer knit than that of mainland Puerto Ricans. The official language is English and has been since 1902 but the language of the people is Spanish. Puerto Rico is a dual language state since adding Spanish as an official language in 1992 (Racial and Ethnic Groups, 10th edition by Richard T. Schaefer). Islanders are less educated than those on the mainland and the economic strength of mainlanders is better than that of those who choose to remain on the island. The predominant religion among Puerto Ricans is Roman Catholic though the participation of Puerto Ricans in Protestant and other Christian faiths is increasing (Racial and Ethnic Groups, 10th edition by Richard T. Schaefer).

The third largest population in the United States of the Hispanic or Latino race is that of Cuban. Cuba is an island off the Florida coast. It is between Florida and Puerto Rico. The island of Cuba is under Communist political rule, which explains the increasing number of Cuban Immigrants in the United States. The 1960 Census report showed 79,000 people of Cuban birth in the states that number increased to 1.4 million people of Cuban birth or descent by 2000 (Racial and Ethnic Groups, 10th edition by Richard T. Schaefer). The Cuban Americans have held on to their Spanish roots in maintaining their language even as they learn and accept the English language. The predominant religion among Cubans is, as with others of Hispanic or Latino heritage, Roman Catholic with a small percentage of the population participating in Protestant, Christian, and Santerinia. The social structure among Cubans and other Hispanic or Latino races is not perfect, there is some contention felt by all races and exception taken to being mistaken for a member of another ethnicity. Cuban Americans are a social people and tend to settle in communities with large Cuban populations. In fact Miami Florida is

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