Four Branches of the Hispanic Tree
???Mexican American, Puerto Rican, Guatemalan and Cuban???
By Lisa Vickers
May 30, 2010
The Hispanic race resembles a tree, because there are many different ethnic groups that have branched off. The Hispanic label can be broken down into many populations of different people that share common heritage, but are very different in many ways. Four branches of the Hispanics are: Mexican American, Puerto Rican, Guatemalan, and Cuban. Some differences within these cultures are: language, politics, and interactions with each other, economic standings, religious beliefs, and family status. These many differences make the culture unique to their people, and can separate it from other cultures that are similar to it.
The Mexican American culture originated in Mexico, but for many years has been emerging in the United States. They tend to immigrate to the United States in search for any type of work, to make better a life there. Mexican Americans??™ language consists of mostly Spanish, but when they immigrate into the U.S., they usually begin to learn the English Language. Most Mexican Americans have been left out or just don??™t take part in the politics of their government, until??? Alberto Gonzales, a Mexican American, was selected as the United States Attorney General. [ (Wikipedia, n.d.) ]??? Once they could have someone like them in the government, they took a little more interest into political views. Mexican Americans??™ social standings rely mostly on family. Family honor and name are very important, and families are usually large. Their families consist of immediate, but also extended family, to which both are equally important. The man is the authority figure of the household and tends to make all the decisions. The woman will always be second to their husbands, and usually tend to the kids and cooking. In Mexico, their economic standing is very low, and is a poor country. Most Mexican Americans have immigrated to the United States in order to find work, so they can afford the essentials for their family. Most Mexican Americans??™ families live in the United States where they live, while others send money down to Mexico for their families. Most Mexican Americans are very poor and usually end up doing labor work, such as construction or farm work. Mexican Americans are of the Catholicism when it comes to religion. Catholicism is the Catholic faith, and their views are very liturgical and ethical, as well as spiritual behavior (Bennett, 2010).
Since Puerto Rico is a territory owned by the United States, Puerto Ricans can be considered U.S. citizens. There language consists of English and Spanish creating no barrier between Americans and Puerto Ricans. There political standing is different though, especially since they are considered U.S. citizens. ???In the United States they cannot vote for a president, they do not have to pay federal income tax, and are unrestricted U.S. Migration: [ (economy, n.d.) ]. Their social standings are very family oriented and in the present times, Man and Woman can be head of the household, both contributing factors of decision making and working. The economy in Puerto Rico is fair; there they have many plantations where production dominates the economy. In Religion, Puerto Ricans have a very diverse selection; they usually are either Baptist or Catholic but some are Methodist, Muslim, ect. Their religion is very open and they aren??™t forced to be with a certain religion.
???Guatemala was occupied by Spanish conquistadors and later became republic after the United Provinces of Central America collapsed??? [ (Every culture – Guatemala, n.d.) ]. Spanish is the official language in Guatemala, but ???because Mayan groups have kept their native language going throughout the years, there are twenty-one ethno languages still alive there.??? [ (Every culture – Guatemala, n.d.) ]. Guatemalans have a constitutional democratic republic government that does not have a great amount of control on the economy. Yet many Guatemalans have political views and are very connected with them. Their social standings are based on wealth, education, and family. You can tell their social standings by what the Guatemalans are wearing, suits for the rich and secondhand clothing for the poor. In the family women lead the primarily with the household side, while the men are at the working end. Guatemala is economically fair, with depending of the export of Guatemala??™s many fruits and vegetables, the economy has been growing. Although the economy is dominated by the private sector, it still has a reasonable economy. The Roman Catholicism is the dominant religion of many Guatemalans, but among the poor in Guatemala, people have begun to change views and began to believe in the Evangelical Protestantism. This offers them a strong encouragement of self-improvement.
Cuba was discovered and claimed by Christopher Columbus, and was made into a ???Spanish colony until the nineteenth century [ (Every culture – Cubans, n.d.) ].??? In Cuba, the general population is consisted of the Spanish Language. The Cuban government is an independent socialist republic that is controlled by the Cuban Communist Party. The leaders of the party have organizations they lead that control the Cuban society. In Cuba social standings rely on how involved in the government you are, which can include, your beliefs with the government, where you stand within your government, or how dedicated you are to your government. Family is also a big social standing. In Cuba extended families live with each other for both tradition and economic reasons. Children will usually tend live at home until they are married due to economic reasons as well. Within the family, both the mother and father are usually equal. Although you always seem to see the mother figure doing most of the domestic work, they have pretty equal control over their household. The Cuban economy is better off financially then other Hispanic cultures and has lower unemployment rates than Puerto Ricans and Mexican Americans [ (Every culture – Cubans, n.d.) ]. In Cuba the dominant religion is Roman Catholics, but others identify themselves as nonreligious. Because of the antireligious bias of the government, many people are forced to become nonreligious. The Cuban government has a great control over its people and because of that has created a different culture for Cuba compared to any other Hispanic ethnic group.
Even though many people are identified as Hispanics, to understand them better you need to go deeper and find out there specific culture. As you can see within all the cultures there are a couple similarities; for example all four groups speak Spanish and all are family oriented. But for the most part all four groups are very different in many ways, their religions are different because some believe and some do not. Their forms of government are very different; Cuba has a Communist controlled while Guatemala has a constitutional democratic republic government. With many differences within each culture group, it is easily seen that even though they are all Hispanic, they are also an individual group with similarities to other cultures but also their own uniqueness to their culture.
economy. (n.d.). Retrieved May 30, 2010, from topuertorico.org: http://www.topuertorico.org/economy.shtml
Every culture – Cubans. (n.d.). Retrieved May 30, 2010, from everyculture.com: http://www.everyculture.com/wc/Costa-Rica-to-Georgia/Cubans.html
Every culture – Guatemala. (n.d.). Retrieved may 30, 2010, from Everyculture.com: http://www.everyculture.com/Ge-It/Guatemala.html
Wikipedia. (n.d.). Retrieved May 30, 2010, from Wikipedia.org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alberto_Gonzales