America’s history cannot be fully understood without the contributions of the Hispanic community. From the Mexican Revolution, which changed not just the Mexican borders, but also the borders of the southwestern United States, to music, civil rights, the labor movement, business, food, and education, the influence of the Hispanic community is undeniably important. The media tends to portray Hispanics as “…recently arrived…which is an unfounded fallacy,” says Stephen J. Pitti, Professor of History & American Studies at Yale University. Being unaware of Hispanics’ contributions and roles in America’s society ignores the colorful complexity of American history. Political situations in Mexico, Central and South America played an important role in the United States government and military decision-making for generations.
It is important to note that there are 50 million Hispanics living in The United States. They represent 15% of the American population and 44% of the population of California. Of the 50 million Hispanics in America, 65% are Mexicans or of Mexican descent. Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world.
Music, as a part of the vast Hispanic legacy, has promoted Hispanic culture and it has found a warm welcome in the United States and with Americans of all backgrounds. Latino music has a long history, but truly found solid footing in the mainstream American music scene after the 1940s. Among the most popular rhythms are mambo, salsa, merengue, cha cha cha, mariachi, tango, and corridor. The popularity of these rhythms recently surged again with the popularity of reality television shows like Dancing with the Stars.
Latino food has made a huge impact in American gastronomy. Television channels like the Cooking Channel, The Food Network, and Utilisima showcase Hispanic chefs from around the world, including Chef Marcela, Chef Pepín, Chef Aarón Sánchez, and Chef José Garces to name a few. From traditional and well-known dishes such as guacamole, and enchiladas, to more unique and modern creations such as Sandía Con Tomate and Codorniz Con Salsa De Romero Y Alioli De Miel, Latino food is on the leading edge of culinary creativity and influence.
Cultures, political movements, and the work force, are among the biggest legacy from Hispanic peoples to America. American Latinos cannot be seen without remembering past history and glimpsing the future in America.
–Hosanna Vivas, Spanish Interpreter
Related articles and sites
- Hispanic Heritage Week 2013: Comedian Rick Najera On How Hispanics Are Changing Politics (ny1.com)
- INFOGRAPHIC: Hispanic American Facts (hispanicallyspeakingnews.com)
- VIDEO on Latino Americans on PBS.org
- History and more