Hispanic American Diversity

Education levels & Economic Status:

All the four groups, however, are similar in their levels of education and acquired skills.  But the fact is, all the groups are equally backward in this regard.  The Mexican American community is by far the oldest in American history; yet, their assimilation in mainstream corporate culture is quite disappointing.  A recent survey reveals that El Salvadorian American and Mexican American communities are on par in terms of education and literacy.  It is to be taken into account that most of the immigrants belong to the lower strata of society even in their native countries.  Hence, to place the blame on American domestic policies alone, for this state of affairs, would be unfair. (Hope Cheong, 2006)

Education and Economic well-being seem to go hand in hand.  Statistics show a direct correlation between academic and financial success.  As most members of these four minority groups don’t even complete high-school, their incomes hover around subsistence level.

Of all the four groups the El Salvadorians are the most economically impoverished.  This is understandable given the fact that most El Salvadorian migrants escape grinding poverty and a war-ravaged native environment.  The El Salvadorians also maintain links with their relatives back home, for whom a regular remittance from the United States can mean life or death.  The immigration policies of the United States government over the last few decades had grown considerable stringent.  Most El Salvadorian immigrants to the U.S. do not gain recognition legally as a result. (Jokisch, 2006)

Cultural similarities and Differences:

Puerto Rican community is culturally distinct from other Hispanic communities in its emphasis on familial bonds.  Respect for the elders in the family is expected of the youngsters.  While gender roles within the family are similar to that of other cultures, women in general assume a prominent role in decision making.  Puerto Rican Americans also maintain strong relations with their extended families as well. (Jokisch, 2006)

In terms of religious affiliation, Christianity is the dominant religion among these communities.  Yet, almost all denominations within the Judeo-Christian theological space find their representation here.  Roman Catholic or Protestant, Cuban Americans place stronger emphasis on their common geo-political roots and would first identify themselves in that designation. (Frykholm, 2007)

Also, the group had always consciously tried to retain their native identity.  That explains their distinction from other Hispanic communities in particular and the American mainstream in general.

As for El Salvadorian Americans their poor English language skills have proved disadvantageous to them.  It has made their integration with other communities difficult. This community is also unique in that a significant percentage of its population in the United States follows the Pentecost religion.  As in other groups family bonds are very strong.  The status of women, however, is still backward.  They are mostly confined to house-hold chores and child-rearing responsibilities and do not factor in the El Salvadorian workforce.  In fact, all these groups follow a patriarchal pattern of social order excepting the Mexican American where grandmothers play an important role in decision making. (Frykholm, 2007)

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