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Hispanic American Diversity

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The following groups have been chosen when identifying the linguistic, political, social, economic, religious,

and familial conventions and/or statuses of four Hispanic groups living in the United States; El Salvadorians, Puerto Ricans, Mexicans and Cubans. Regardless of these groups the United States Office of Budget and Management coined the term "Hispanic" in 1978 to classify all of these people. Each group has a rich cultural identity but has been placed in the same category, Hispanic Americans, on the basis of language. All these groups share the Spanish language, though each has a different dialect and some words spelled and pronounced the same have different meanings.

Mexican Americans

Mexican Americans language is made up of a mix of their national language Spanish and English, sometimes referred to as Spanglish. Politically Mexican Americans were very active in the Mexican American Civil Rights movement spearheaded by Mendoza, V. "...Reies Lуpez Tijerina and the land grant movement, is picked up by Rodolfo "Corky" Gonzales in Denver who defines the meaning of Chicano through his epic poem I am Joaquin, embraces Cйsar Chбvez and the farm workers"(2000). The movement as defined by Mendoza, V. "The Mexican American Civil Rights Movement" "...encompassed a broad cross section of issues--from restoration of land grants, to farm workers rights, to enhanced education, to voting and political rights".

Socially Mexican Americans often want what all immigrants who come to this country seeking; the American Dream. (Alba, R. 2006). Educationally, Mexican Americans, no matter the generation rarely go past High School; according to the reading, Alba, R. "Huntington presents data that appear to show very low levels of Mexican-American educational advancement beyond high school, regardless of generation." And that; "Thus, he cites numbers reported from the National Latino Political Survey, conducted at the end of the 1980s, to show that no more than 10 percent of Mexican Americans of any generation earn a credential beyond high school and only 4 percent of the fourth generation attains the baccalaureate; 40 percent of this generation fails to obtain the high school diploma." (2006)

Throughout the immigration of Mexicans to America it seems that little progress is made for Mexican Americans to move up from immigrant status to mainstream social status. Due in part to the amount of discrimination and poor educational systems that were provided to them, Mexican Americans have not really assimilated themselves into the American mainstream culture. (Alba, R. 2006) Economically, Mexican Americans are pushing for fair pay. This plays out most predominately in the Mexican American Civil Rights movement as discussed earlier with Cesar Chavez. (Mendoza, V. 2000). Fair pay, benefits and adequate wages are still an issue for Mexican Americans.

Family life for Mexican Americans seem to focus on the Grandparents, especially the Grandmothers, they appear to be the glue of the family according to Gonzбlez-Clements, A. in Mexican American traditions in Nebraska, "Grandmothers, those special women who held them and fed them and healed them, grandmothers who knew the remedies, the stories, the crafts, the foods, and the language that some of us have forgotten." American Christmas traditions have been adopted, in place of their traditions such as Gonzalez-Clements, A. "The traditional Mexican posada, a house-to-house celebration of song and food that replicates Joseph and Mary's search for shelter on Christmas Eve..."

Puerto Ricans

The Puerto Ricans language is Spanish. According to Tara- Ivette, O. in his essay on Puerto Rican Migration and the Puerto Rican Political Experience in the United States; Puerto Ricans began in what was known as Class Politics, where no matter what ethnicity people in the same working classes banded together. Eventually this lead to a movement called the socialism movement, Tara-Ivette, O."The early immigrants who settled in the United States were influenced by radical political ideas like nationalism, internationalism, and socialism." Still though many Puerto Ricans stayed out of politics and did not vote even though they wished to improve their circumstances in the United States.

Tara-Ivette, O. "I agree with Richie Rodriguez when he states that "[Puerto Ricans] used their ethnicity as their basis for being a separate entity in America and sought to improve their socio-economic and political status as an ethnic group through politics". Unity is a big part of

Puerto Ricans socioeconomic and family backgrounds. They tend to set themselves apart from the United States mainstream culture and remain their own entity within the U.S.

Puerto Ricans place family very important and respect plays a big part in family relations; according to Jones Syracuse, C. Cultural Diversity: Eating in America Puerto Ricans "Respect for family is critical in the Puerto Rican culture. Mothers and elders are adored and duty to the family, including the extended family, is essential. Family ties are strong. Families often gather for holidays, birthdays, and weddings. Machismo is a critical element of the society. Women usually make decisions on foods purchased and served. Traditionally meals are served when the entire family is together."( Syracuse )


Cuban Americans main language is Spanish, according to a study done by Jason Cato Cuban Americans have adapted parts of the US to their culture. Cato, J. "In rising to dominate the centers of power in Miami, Cuban-Americans have reversed the traditional cycles of assimilation and acculturation." Even though they seek freedom from the oppression of their country they still have extremely strong ties to their homeland and instead of adapting to the mainstream culture they have adapted parts of the US to their culture.

Cuban Americans religious ties are mainly with the Roman Catholic Church, however according to; "Yet, there



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