The United States is known as the melting pot because of the many different cultures that live here. Hispanics make up 35.3 million according to the 2000 census. Many people don’t realize that within the Hispanic culture there are many different groups. The different groups have different linguistic, political, social, economic, religion, and statues. Most Hispanics see themselves in terms of their individual ethnic identity, as Mexican American, Puerto Rican, Cuban, etc. instead of members of the larger, more ambiguous term Hispanic or Latino (U.S. Diplomatic Mission to Germany, 2009). Puerto Ricans
Puerto Ricans are American citizens; they are considered U.S. migrants as opposed to foreign immigrants. Many Puerto Rican mainlanders hold high-paying white collar jobs. Outside of New York City, Puerto Ricans often boast higher college graduation rates and higher per capita incomes than their counterparts in other Latino groups. The U.S. Census reports that at least 25 percent of Puerto Ricans living on the mainland are faced with poverty. Despite the presumed advantages of American citizenship, Puerto Ricans are—overall—the most economically disadvantaged Latino group in the United States. Puerto Rican communities in urban areas are plagued by problems such as crime, drug-use, poor educational opportunity, unemployment, and the breakdown of the traditionally strong Puerto Rican family structure (Countries and Their Cultures, 2010). Most Puerto Ricans are Roman Catholics and believe in espiritismo (Spirits). In addition to the catholic beliefs Puerto Ricans celebrate several other days. Many of their celebrations revolve around food and drink.
Mexican Immigration to the United States between 1850 and 1900 was relatively low. By 1900 approximately 500,000 people of Mexican ancestry lived in the United States, principally in the areas originally populated by Spaniards and Mexicans prior to 1848. Roughly 100,000 of these residents were born in Mexico; the remaining were second-generation inhabitants of these regions and their offspring. Between the years of 1920 to 1929 almost 500,000 people of Mexican ancestry entered the United States. According to the 1990 U.S. Census Bureau report, approximately 12 million people of Mexican ancestry lived in the United States with Los Angeles having among the highest number of Hispanics of major cities of the world and by far the greatest proportion of its population was Mexican in origin. The Mexican Revolution of 1910 and the aftermath of political instability and social violence caused many to flee northward across the border for their safety, and the growth of the U.S. economy in the 1920s attracted additional numbers of immigrants. Though the wages received by most Mexican migrants in these decades were quite low, they were considerably higher than the salaries paid for comparable work in Mexico. Most importantly, the number of jobs for foreign laborers seemed unlimited, especially during World War I and on into the early 1920s. Mexican immigration to the United States decreased considerably in the 1930s due to the economic depression of this decade. Though approximately 30,000 Mexicans entered the United States during these years, over 500,000 left the country, most of them forced to do so because of the Repatriation Program, which sought to extradite those Mexicans without proper documentation.
The primary language of Mexican Americans is English, and with each new generation born in the United States the use of Spanish becomes less frequent in many families. Approximately 75 percent of the Mexican American population is of the Catholic faith, and in the southwestern United States over two-thirds of the Catholics are Mexican or Mexican American. Political participation by Mexican Americans historically has been limited by discrimination. Throughout U.S. history, Mexican Americans have been...