Hispanic American Diversity Paper Introduction The United States is known as the melting pot because of the many different cultures that live here. Hispanics make up 35. 3 million according to the 2000 census. Many people don’t realize that within the Hispanic culture there are many different groups. The different groups have different linguistic, political, social, economic, religion, and statues. Most Hispanics see themselves in terms of their individual ethnic identity, as Mexican American, Puerto Rican, Cuban, etc. nstead of members of the larger, more ambiguous term Hispanic or Latino (U. S. Diplomatic Mission to Germany, 2009). Puerto Ricans Puerto Ricans are American citizens; they are considered U. S. migrants as opposed to foreign immigrants. Many Puerto Rican mainlanders hold high-paying white collar jobs. Outside of New York City, Puerto Ricans often boast higher college graduation rates and higher per capita incomes than their counterparts in other Latino groups. The U. S. Census reports that at least 25 percent of Puerto Ricans living on the mainland are faced with poverty.
Despite the presumed advantages of American citizenship, Puerto Ricans are—overall—the most economically disadvantaged Latino group in the United States. Puerto Rican communities in urban areas are plagued by problems such as crime, drug-use, poor educational opportunity, unemployment, and the breakdown of the traditionally strong Puerto Rican family structure (Countries and Their Cultures, 2010). Most Puerto Ricans are Roman Catholics and believe in espiritismo (Spirits). In addition to the catholic beliefs Puerto Ricans celebrate several other days.
Many of their celebrations revolve around food and drink. Mexican Americans Mexican Immigration to the United States between 1850 and 1900 was relatively low. By 1900 approximately 500,000 people of Mexican ancestry lived in the United States, principally in the areas originally populated by Spaniards and Mexicans prior to 1848. Roughly 100,000 of these residents were born in Mexico; the remaining were second-generation inhabitants of these regions and their offspring. Between the years of 1920 to 1929 almost 500,000 people of Mexican ancestry entered the United States.
According to the 1990 U. S. Census Bureau report, approximately 12 million people of Mexican ancestry lived in the United States with Los Angeles having among the highest number of Hispanics of major cities of the world and by far the greatest proportion of its population was Mexican in origin. The Mexican Revolution of 1910 and the aftermath of political instability and social violence caused many to flee northward across the border for their safety, and the growth of the U. S. conomy in the 1920s attracted additional numbers of immigrants. Though the wages received by most Mexican migrants in these decades were quite low, they were considerably higher than the salaries paid for comparable work in Mexico. Most importantly, the number of jobs for foreign laborers seemed unlimited, especially during World War I and on into the early 1920s. Mexican immigration to the United States decreased considerably in the 1930s due to the economic depression of this decade.
Though approximately 30,000 Mexicans entered the United States during these years, over 500,000 left the country, most of them forced to do so because of the Repatriation Program, which sought to extradite those Mexicans without proper documentation. The primary language of Mexican Americans is English, and with each new generation born in the United States the use of Spanish becomes less frequent in many families. Approximately 75 percent of the Mexican American population is of the Catholic faith, and in the southwestern United States over two-thirds of the Catholics are Mexican or Mexican American.
Political participation by Mexican Americans historically has been limited by discrimination. Throughout U. S. history, Mexican Americans have been legally “White”, but not always socially classified as such, depending on the individual’s degrees of perceived ancestry. Cubans Cubans have had a long history of migrating to the United States, often for political reasons. Many Cubans, particularly cigar manufacturers, came during the Ten Years’ War (1868-1878) between Cuban nationals and the Spanish military. Yet the most significant Cuban migrations have occurred in the last 35 years.
There have been at least four distinct waves of Cuban immigration to the United States since 1959. While many, perhaps most, of the earlier migrants were fleeing Cuba for political reasons, more recent migrants are more likely to have fled because of declining economic conditions at home. Cuban Americans are also considered native born Americans with Cuban parents or Cuban-born persons who were raised and educated in US. Cuban Americans form the third-largest Hispanic group in the United States and also the largest group of Hispanics of European ancestry as a percentage within the group in the US.
Many communities throughout the United States have significant Cuban American populations. However Miami, Florida, with a Cuban population of 837,985 in its environs, stands out as the most prominent Cuban American community, in part because of its proximity to Cuba. It is followed by the Tampa Bay Area, North Jersey, particularly Union City and West New York. With a population of 141,250, the New York metropolitan area is the largest Cuban community outside of Florida.
Cuban Americans have been very successful in establishing businesses and developing political clout by transforming Miami from a beach retirement community into a modern city with a younger demographic base with a distinct Caribbean flavor. The second major migration started in 1965 and continued through 1973. Cuba and the United States agreed that Cubans with relatives residing in the United States would be transported from Cuba. The transportation of migrants began by boat from the northern port of Camarioca and, when many died in boat accidents, was later continued by plane from the airstrip at Varadero.
Almost 300,000 Cubans arrived in the United States during this period. The third migration, known as the Mariel Boat Lift, occurred in 1980 after Castro permitted Cubans residing in the United States to visit relatives in Cuba. Dominicans In the 1980s, immigration to the United States from the Dominican Republic rose to unprecedented levels. The number of Dominicans legally entering the United States between 1981 and 1990 was far greater than the number of Cubans: indeed, more Dominicans entered the United States in the last decade than any other Western Hemisphere national group except migrants from Mexico.
Most Dominicans in the United States arrived after 1960. Of the 169,147 Dominican-born persons resident in the United States at the time of the 1980 census, only 6. 1 percent had come to the United States before 1960. More than a third came during the decade of political instability in the Dominican Republic and the remaining 56 percent arrived in the 1970s. During the 1980s, however, Dominican immigration soared. In those ten years, more than 250,000 Dominicans were legally admitted to the United States.
The number of new immigrants in that ten-year period was 50 percent greater than the entire Dominican-born population of the United States at the start of the decade. The 1990 U. S. Census reported that of the 506,000 persons of Dominican descent in the United States, the vast majority were Dominican-born. Thus the Dominican American community is primarily an immigrant community and, indeed, a community of recent immigrants. The greatest numbers of Dominicans’ reside in New York and New Jersey but there are a significant number of Dominican communities in Massachusetts and Florida.
These communities are predominantly urban: most Dominicans in New York and New Jersey live in New York City (the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan is one prominent location) and its New Jersey suburbs, while Florida and Massachusetts Dominicans tend to reside in Miami and Boston. By the late 1990s, in New York City, Dominicans were the second largest Hispanic group, after Puerto Ricans. They were also considered the biggest and fastest growing immigrant population in the city. Dominican Americans are one of the newer national-cultural communities in the United States.
They are still in process of creating a unique place for themselves here. Their relationships to the United States and its culture and to the Dominican Republic and Dominican culture are still evolving. Conclusion Most Hispanics come from low income families and are not very educated but Cuban Americans income is about $6,700 more than the median for all Hispanic American family incomes that reside in the United States. Cuban Americans are also highly educated; 17 percent of the Cuban American population has completed college has some college or graduate schooling. All Hispanics do not share the same religious beliefs.
Some are Christians and some are Roman Catholics. Most migrated to the United States for different reasons some being political, educational, employment or cultural. References: Countries and Their Cultures (2010) – Puerto Rican Americans, Retrieved July 5, 2010 from http://www. everyculture. com/multi/Pa-Sp/Puerto-Rican-Americans. html U. S. Census Bureau (2001) – Overview of Race and Hispanic Origin, Retrieved July 3, 2010 from http://www. census. gov/prod/2001pubs/c2kbr01-1. pdf U. S. Diplomatic Mission to Germany (2009) – U. S. Society > Hispanic Americans, Retrieved July 3, 2010 from http://usa. usembassy. de/society-hispanics. htm