Historians are still unclear on when the first Latinos appeared in North America. The most prevalent theory is that they were nomadic hunters who came from the Asia mainland and across the then frozen Bering Straight into Alaska. Regardless of their origins their main region is now the Americas, both North and South and it is expected that the Latino population in the United States will increase by 40% in the next ten years (US Census 2010). Their culture and society is steeped in tradition and understanding and appreciating their culture is imperative for any person working in the social services field. Latino Traditions and Culture The Latino culture contains many diverse sub-cultures, however there is a common theme and religion that run through all Latino cultures. An important cultural trend that is prevalent among many Latinos is the closeness of the society; the lack of personal space in their culture is very important as they are more open to physical contact and showing affection.
Social Expectations Time orientation tends to be different for Latinos who are generally more concerned with the present than with the future or planning ahead. Due to this trend, it is often helpful to remind Latino’s the day before an appointment or activity. This also relates to why many Latinos tend to focus more on work than advancing their education. Latino’s see work as a way of receiving money now which is a way they can improve their lives now and if needed have enough to send money to relatives back in their countries of origin. However, advancing their education would mean that they make more in the future but less in the short term where their focus is. The Latino family, including extended family, is the primary social unit, and source of support. Often Latino men who are in the United States come looking for a way to support their family’s back in their home town. Even making minimum wage or less
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