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The Latino Community in the US: A Unique Flavor

By April 12, 2015 No Comments

Since the founding of our country, we have taken pride in being a melting pot for different religious and cultural people and perspectives, benefiting from the very best each of our citizens has to offer and using our diversity to our advantage. It’s why we left Europe in the first place – to have the freedom to pursue each of our own personal beliefs, whatever that may mean. Even today, people from all over the world flock to the United States in order to pursue their own personal goals with as much freedom as possible.

In the south-west a growing population of Latinos are finding a home. In fact the Latino population in the US has grown by about 30 million in the past 30 years, more than half of which are native-born. While often thought of as ‘minorities’, a number of American cities actually have majority populations of Latinos, including Los Angeles and San Antonio. Major cities like Houston, New York, and Chicago have Latino populations over 25%.

In Texas, over 45% of the entire population has Hispanic ancestry, making it one of the largest and fastest growing ethnic groups in the state. And while their heritage is important to them, most of these Americans don’t consider themselves anything but American. Latino, Hispanic, Mexican or Mexican-American are all just labels for most of them, since they don’t consider themselves any different from their neighbors.

What do all these stats point to? That Latinos are not, by any means, newcomers or guests to this country. They form the backbone of America, contributing millions of new minds every single year and adding a core perspective to our culture, politics, and economy. In many ways, the state of Texas has been their home, as they have left an unmistakable mark on San Antonio, Houston, Austin, and San Marcos and many other communities across the vast state. But elsewhere in the country as well, Latinos have played an important part for the last 100 years, and will continue to do so.

The point is, Latino communities in Texas are just one more ingredient of the ever-cooking stew that is the United States. Recognizing the unique tastes they bring to the melting pot is important, but so is recognizing that the dish just wouldn’t be the same without them. Hopefully, our country will continue to prize the diversity and freedom that has made it what it is today.

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