Today I learned a lot about Hispanics after reading the book, The Hispanics (We Came to North America).
The word Hispanic was first used in 1980F in the United States Census to refer to people with origins in Spanish-speaking countries. Some people like the name Hispanic but some don’t. The book doesn’t explain why but it should. Some people would rather be called Latino. The book does give a reason why some people don’t want to be called Hispanic or Latino. “Others, such as Cubans, Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, and Salvadorans, prefer names that show their place of origin,” according to the book.
Of all the Hispanics in the United States, Mexicans make up the largest group, Puerto Ricans make up the second largest group, and Cubans make up the third largest group. Unlike Mexicans and Cubans, Puerto Ricans are always U.S. citizens, even when they are living in Puerto Rico. This is because Puerto Rico is a commonwealth. A commonwealth is an independent country, community or state within a republic.
People often leave their country of origin to work in America, or as refugees. “Many of the refugees were put into crowded, dirty camps in these border countries where they waited until it was safe to go home,” according to the book. An 11-year-old Salvadoran girl who lived in a refugee camp recalled some horrible things that happened in her home country. She said that one time in 1981 some government people arrived in Mozote, El Salvador, and killed many people including her parents and siblings right in front of her. After running and escaping when she first noticed what was happening, she hid in a cave. The book doesn’t explain what happened during the time the girl was in the cave to the time she was in the refugee camp. It also doesn’t explain what happened to her after she was in the refugee camp.
The last thing I learned was that some English words came from Spanish words. The word alligator came from the word El Lagarto, the word tornado came from the word tronada, etc.
I thought the book should have included more details to make it interesting. For example, the section about Fiestas could have been more interesting. I have attended a Mexican baptism party, and I could tell you a lot about how the Mexican Fiestas are extreme partying. One thousand dollars was spent on a 1-year-old’s baptism party! To me that’s a lot of money.
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