Hispanic American Diversity Essay

1256 words - 6 pages

Hispanic American Diversity

Hispanic American Diversity
With the influx of immigrants of the past few decades, a multitude of varied cultures have set stakes in the United States. Though many of the Spanish-speaking immigrants come from different backgrounds and cultures, the fact that they share a language finds them labeled as Hispanic-Americans. Within this classification reside the cultures of Puerto Rican Americans, Mexican Americans, Dominican Americans, and Cuban Americans. Each of these cultures shares a few similarities with the others, but also has many differences that distinguish their way of life. These differences include politics, economics, language, religion, and family ...view middle of the document...

The result of this is that every Puerto Rican is officially a United States citizen. Though they are a commonwealth of America, Puerto Rico retains its own legislature. They elect their own governors and are able to vote in the House of Representatives. Puerto Rico is still under the executive authority of the United States however (Green, 2008). There is constant political debate over the rights and status of Puerto Rico and its inhabitants. There are some who would like to see Puerto Rico independent from the United States, while others seek to include Puerto Rico as a state of the U.S.
Puerto Rican Americans are predominately of the Roman Catholic denomination within the Christian religion. There are other Protestant denominations throughout Puerto Rico, and some of the culture has been blended with culture from the Caribbean. Puerto Rican American culture revolves around food and drink, with many customs associated with these (Green, 2008). The language of Puerto Rican Americans is Castillian Spanish which is derived from Latin. According to Green (2008), while most first-generation Puerto Rican Americans speak little English; second-generation Puerto Rican Americans are bilingual. The majority tend to speak Spanish in the home and English outside of the home.
Even with the natural citizenship of Puerto Ricans Americans, there is still an economic divide between them and White Americans. Schaefer (2006) states, “Puerto Ricans have higher unemployment rates, higher rates of poverty, and significantly lower incomes than White Americans”. This is even more of an issue for Puerto Rican Americans that continue to live on the island. The unemployment of islanders is three times that of mainland Puerto Rican Americans.
Cuban Americans

Cubans have migrated to the United States since the early 19th century, but the major influx of immigrants resulted from Castro’s rise to power in 1959. The state of Florida received most of the Cuban immigrants; most considering themselves political exiles (Buffington, 2008). Unlike many Hispanic cultures that have immigrated to the United States, Cuban Americans have easily assimilated into the American culture. Creating a strong cultural base in Florida, Cuban Americans have grown in economic and political power. According to Buffington (2008), the average family income for Cuban Americans is almost $7,000 more than the average for all Hispanic American incomes. Cuban Americans have a higher rate of voting than other Hispanic Americans, giving them a larger voice in politics.
Cuban Americans, by majority are able to speak Spanish and English well, or English better than Spanish. This is due to the high assimilation rate of Cuban Americans. Their family structure is not as strongly patriarchal as Cuban families. In Cuban American families the parents do not hold such a strong influence over the children’s lives, and Cuban American women are able to have more authority in the family than would be...

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