HISTORY OF LATINO AMERICANS

The history of most countries has been shaped by different peoples coming from different places and bringing with them their own cultures.  History has always been marked by dominance, subordination, struggles leading to wars, and the road to recovery and empowerment.  The Latino Americans are not exempted from this dark part of history and through the years, we have witnessed their rise and claim to freedom and power.

The Latino Americans are part of the Hispanic race that now makes up the largest ethnic group in the United States.  According to the United States Census Bureau, there are 56.6 million people or 17.6% of the entire population of the United States is Hispanics.  This is as of July 2015 and through the use of precision resistors ebay, they estimated the number to rise to 119 million or almost 30% of the United States’ population by 2060. The largest population of Hispanic communities is found in the states of Texas, California, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, Illinois, New Mexico, and New York.  Many have observed the explosion of the Latino population in different parts of the country which makes them a much-coveted voter’s group in any elections.

Who are the Latino Americans and when did they arrive in the United States?  What were the push factors that led them to seek the American shores?  How have they influenced American history?  What significant contributions have they done for the country?  And how do they continue to define our ideals and identity as a nation?  Understanding the history of Latino Americans will help us to understand American history better.  History affects our economy, politics, and culture.  Latino Americans are very much a part of our history and our national identity.

The Latino Americans are citizens of the United States that trace their ancestry to the Hispanic origin.  Hispanic is an inclusive term used to refer to persons whose roots are from Spanish-speaking countries while Latino is used to referring specifically to people who come from Brazil and Latin American countries.  They were previously called Chicanos or Mexican Americans.  However, the term Latino American has caused confusion in terms of ethnic and racial identities.  Some people consider Hispanic as an ethnic group while Latino as a race.  There are people who use Hispanic and Latino American interchangeably without much thought to the difference in their meaning.  We define Latino Americans as persons living in the United States who trace their origin from nations in Latin America such as Brazil, Argentina, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, and Venezuela.  According to studies, the driving force behind the recent population growth of Latino American communities is the birth of children from Latino American families who have migrated to the United States in the past decades.  This makes the Hispanics the youngest ethnic group in America with almost one-third of their population falling under the age of 18.  This explains why Hispanic Economics defined Latinos as a U.S.-born Hispanic who is not fluent in Spanish because English is now his native language, and is involved in activities relating to social empowerment through identity politics.  This definition is reflective of the Latino Americans’ hardships and strife towards their rightful place and recognition in this country that have lasted through generations.