The four groups Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans and South Americans have been chosen for identifying the linguistic, political, social, economic, religious and familial conventions and way of life of these different Hispanic groups living in the U.S. All these groups are from different regions but have been placed in one category due to the similarity of their language. The base is Spanish but the accent and the meaning of certain words are different. Two groups; Mexican Americans and South Americans, even though they are the same region have different dialects as well.
The Mexican American population is the largest minority group in America. The Census Bureau data shows a record of over 35 million as of March 2005 (legal and illegal). The Mexican Americans come from all over Mexico resulting in a wide variety of linguistic varieties amongst them. Mexico’s language is derived from Spanish but varies from different regions in Mexico. A majority of Mexican Americans do not speak Spanish at all, native born mainly. The Mexican American population is very much into the political civil rights in America. They are active in many civil rights movements, from workers rights to voting rights. The social status of the Mexican Americans is poor due to the majority not having an education. Alba (2006) states that, a very low level of Mexican-American educational advancement beyond high school, regardless of generation. Because of the poor education, economically the Mexican Americans are behind White Americans. A writer for the Public Policy Institute of California writes
Substantial education and wage deficits persist between people of Mexican descent and other Americans. Third generation Mexican Americans in California average a year and a half less schooling and about 25 percent lower wages than non-Hispanic whites.
(Grogger, 2002, p.132)
Puerto Rico has one of the most dynamic economies in the Caribbean region. Plantation sugar production dominated Puerto Rico’s economy until the 1940s. Recently the economy has suffered budget cuts from U.S. The Puerto Rican economy has depended heavily on the tax incentives given to U.S. mainland companies and on federal transfers. In 1993, President Clinton aimed to cut the Section 936 tax exemption for U.S. companies and introduced legislation to Congress to replace it with a more modest tax credit linked to wages paid by those companies in Puerto Rico rather than to profits. However, the economy of Puerto Rico has benefited greatly from US investment. It is one of the healthiest economies in the Caribbean with a diverse industrial sector and an important tourist industry. Only a very small percentage of the labor force works in the agricultural sector (coffee, sugarcane, pineapples, bananas, plantains and dairy products) whilst much larger numbers are employed in industries including electronics, pharmaceuticals, clothes and food products.
The people of Puerto Rico represent a cultural and racial mix. During the early 18-century, the Spaniard in order to populate the country took Taino Indian women as brides. Later on as labor was needed to maintain crops and build roads, African slaves were imported, followed by the importation of Chinese immigrants, then continued with the arrival of Italians, French, German, and even Lebanese people.
Spanish and English are both official languages in Puerto Rico although not everyone speaks English and Christianity is the main religion in Puerto Rico; a high percentage of the people are Roman Catholics. There is also a small Jewish community. Santeria, an Afro-Caribbean religion, is practiced by some Puerto Ricans. Puerto Ricans have many similar rights as any other U.S. citizen. Puerto Ricans cannot vote for the president even though they are citizens of the United States. They are excluded from paying federal income tax also. Though some of the privileges associated with citizenship have been withheld from Puerto Ricans, they are allowed “?unrestricted U.S. Migration?[which has] made New York city the one place with the most Puerto Ricans anywhere in the world (over one million)” This immigration privilege is something many Hispanics would love to have. Cuban Americans, particularly in the Miami vicinity, tend to be considerably further cautious politically than other Latino groups and shape a dominant voting obstruction for the Republican Party in the political arena.
Cuban Americans are often affiliated politically with Jewish Americans while Puerto Ricans have similar affiliations with African Americans. Mexican Americans and Puerto Ricans are apt to favor liberal nominees in national and state elections while Cuban Americans are notorious for their powerful conservative ethics. As the Puerto Rican community becomes more educated, political activity expands. Further circumstances like the advent of bilingual programs, the steady arrival of certain kind of religious organizations, and the appointment of politically productive officials make it easier and beneficial to take part in the political process.
The Salvadorians civilians that reside in the U.S. do not seem any different from how they live in their homeland. To begin they left their life behind to move out of the struggle. Since the civil war El Salvador by force had to witness the drastic between two government parties. The politics, economy and society changed with a heavy impact that causes the country to breakdown its structure normal living. Because the U.S. got involve helping defeat the communist party by giving military weapons and also letting American soldiers to fight in combat. Help from the U.S. is what given a very supportive reason why El Salvador no longer holds colones. (Salvador money) they now use U.S. dollars to pay off their debts. They have shown minor progress to influence them to move forward from immigrant status to U.S. citizens.
The Hispanic American population has had to overcome many obstacles in their history. Although each individual group within the Hispanic American culture has its own distinct cultural identity, they seem to all be labeled Hispanic Americans because of the commonality of their language. In fact, each group may speak Spanish, but they each have their own dialect of the language, and many times their common words have different meanings. Most of the family structures and religious practices are also different. Doing this assignment helps to understand that not everyone is the same just because they are the same color.