The Commonality and Differences of the Hispanic Culture in the United States Hispanics represent a variety of cultures from Mexico, the Caribbean Islands, Central and South America. Of the many Hispanic cultures now living in the United States, four will be used to examine the political, linguistic, religious, and socio-economic behavior of Hispanics. Mexican-Americans: Mexican-Americans have either had families that have lived within the United States for over 400 years, some not as long, and others have just recently emigrated to the U. S. from Mexico. The Spanish of Mexicans is influenced by the Spaniards who occupied Mexico and a heavy Latin influence as the policy of linguistics, a sort of lingua franca, was greatly influenced by the Spanish Crown who was often at odds with the Catholic Church in this regard, which also reveals quite a bit about the religious influences of Mexican-Americans, who are primarily Catholic, although there is a variety of religious sects within that culture, such as the Santero tradition, and many others. 1) (2) Because Mexican-Americans are one of the most economically disadvantaged groups in the United States, (3), religion plays a big part in how they cope with this disadvantage, and while there are claims that they are underrepresented in politics, there is The League of Latin American Citizens, a political rights advocate group for all Hispanics, founded by Mexican Americans in 1929. Puerto Rican-Americans: The language of Puerto Rico is considered to be a Caribbean variant of Spanish that is a combination of Spanish, Taino, (the indigenous language), and Kongo, which was imported from West African Slaves. (4) However, Puerto Rican-Americans also can be people who only speak English, are bilingual, or only speak Spanish. While Puerto Ricans can have a variety of genetic influences and not at all look “Hispanic”, it is not how they look; however, that is a determination for many Puerto Rican-Americans as to who is Puerto Rican as much as it is their ability to speak Spanish. 5) Since the passage of the Jones Act of 1917, when Puerto Ricans were made American citizens, a cycle of immigration has developed where Puerto Ricans will immigrate to the U. S. to improve their economic status, stay as long as there is improvement, and when not, move back to their homeland, and as is with most Hispanics, their religion is primarily Catholic, but also heavily influenced by the Santeria, and voodoo cults.
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