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Hispanic American Diversity
Lee Hannah
Axia College of University of Phoenix
February 21, 2010
Instructor: Jerry Knight

When people think about Hispanic groups, they automatically assume they are all alike and share the same traditions. Although, Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, and South and Central Americans may have some similarities they are very unique in their own way.
Mexican Americans
Mexico gained its independence in 1821, but the formation of the national culture remained a difficult task because of political instability, foreign invasions, and military uprisings (Ansters, 2011). The primary language for Mexicans is Spanish. The heart of Mexican dishes consists of three main ingredients: beans, corn, and hot peppers. Mexico has numerous occasions that called for special food. The Dia de la Candelaris which is on February 2nd celebrates the purification of Mary and the presence and blessing of Jesus. After the ceremony families join together for tamales. Mexico is a federal republic and its government operates under a centralized government. Government powers are divided between executive, legislative, and judicial branches. Mexican’s extended family members are very important to them. They very often seek opportunities to gather with each other. Mexico has a free-market economy that has a mixture of traditional and modern industry and agriculture (Ansters, 2011). Mexican economy has experienced internationalization, privatization, and deregulation. The dominant religion in Mexico is Roman Catholicism. Catholic beliefs pervade the like of Mexicans. Mexico’s religious rituals are determined by the Catholic calendar with Easter being the most important. Each community in Mexico has its own patron saint which they can honor with processions and fiestas every year (Ansters, 2011).
Puerto Ricans In 1493, Christopher Columbus landed in Puerto Rico during his second voyage. Puerto Ricans are Caribbean people who recognize themselves as citizens of a distinctive island nation regardless of their colonial condition and U.S. citizenship (Rizarry & Santiago, 2011). Spanish and English are the official languages of Puerto Ricans, but mainly Spanish. Puerto Rico’s industrialization has eroded the viability of agriculture an important economic activity and is dependent on food imports (Rizarry & Santiago, 2011). Puerto Rico is controlled by the official head of state the president of the United States even though Puerto Ricans can not vote in the presidential elections. Puerto Rico has its own constitution. Puerto Ricans value family very much. Relatives are expected to support each other emotionally or materially. Puerto Rico’s core value is family life. Family is viewed as the most enduring and reliable support network for Puerto Ricans (Rizarry & Santiago, 2011). An estimated 30 percent of the population is Protestant where revivalism is quite popular. Many people pray, are faithful, treat others with compassion, and communicate directly with God.
Cubans are a significant ethnic Hispanic group in the United States making their presence in 1831(Schaefer, 2006). Cuban nation has rose from a history of colonial and imperial domination. In 1959, Cuba became independent for the first time. Cuba’s economy is socialist which means that the population owns most of the means of production and benefits from national economic activity (Hodge, 2011). All Cubans benefit equally from the resources of their island. Cuba’s political system is called Democratic Centralism. Every citizen has the right to join in on the discussions of political, social, and economic issues. Cubans has lost some of their importance on family as the Revolution has taken over some of the economic and social functions. Many families are much smaller now and do not include wide horizontal connections. Cuba’s religious faith and practices are not as influential as other Latin American nations because the Catholic clergy were born in Spain and there were not many priests in rural areas. Many Cubans maintain their faith by their own religious design (Hodge, 2011).
Colombia has changed its name seven times since they declared independence in 1810 and achieved it in 1819. Columbia’s traditions include a broad range of customs such as accents, cultural adaptions, and social patterns. The official language in Columbia is Spanish which was imposed during the colonial period. Columbia’s economy is dependent on manufacturing and agricultural exports. Bananas, cut flowers, sugar, and coffee are very important to commercial agriculture. Columbia’s government has put forth efforts to make the economy more specialized and productive by encouraging trade, financial investments, and deregulation (Broadfield & Marques, 2011). Columbia’s government has an executive branch that is led by an elected president, House of Representatives and Senate, legislative branch, and a judicial branch. Most male-female households assume that the woman put her husband’s needs first (Broadfield & Marques, 2011). Most Columbian household include the father, mother, and children. Columbian traditions are a chaperone while on a date and courting for a least one year. Children are taught to be obedient. Ninety-five percent of Columbians are considered to be a member of the Roman Catholic Church. People pray to a patron saint that is considered to be more accessible than God. Priests in Catholic Churches perform Catholic sacraments. Baptism is the sacramental entry into Christian life. Communion is the memorial of Christ’s death and resurrection. I have reviewed the culture of Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and Columbia. Although all of these are in the Hispanic group, each group as their own values and beliefs. Many Hispanic groups are stereotyped discriminated against by others. People should educate themselves about other cultures before basing their opinions by what other people say.

Ansters, W (2011). Mexico. Countries and their Cultures. Retrieved on February 20, 2011 from
Broadfield, D & Marquez, S (2011). Columbia. Countries and their Cultures. Retrieved on February 20, 2011 from
Hodge, G (2011). Cuba. Countries and their cultures. Retrieved on February 20, 2011 from
Rizarry, I & Santiago, V (2011). Puerto Rico. Countries and their Cultures. Retrieved on February 20, 2011 from
Schaefer, R, T. (2006). Racial and ethnic groups (10th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

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