Portal:Hispanic and Latino Americans
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Portal:Hispanic and Latino Americans


2010 US Census Hispanic Population by County.svg

Hispanic and Latino Americans are an ethnolinguistic group of Americans with origins in the countries of Latin America or the Iberian peninsula. More generally it includes all persons in the United States who self-identify as Hispanic or Latino. Reflecting especially the Latin American population, which has origins in all the continents and many ancestries, Hispanic/Latino Americans are very racially diverse, and as a result form an ethnic category, rather than a race.

While the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably, Hispanic is a narrower term and refers mostly to persons of Spanish speaking origin or ancestry, while Latino is more frequently used to refer more generally to anyone of Latin American origin or ancestry, including Brazilians. Hispanic thus includes persons from Spain and Spanish speaking Latin Americans excluding both Portuguese and Brazilians (who speak Portuguese) while Latino excludes persons from Spain but includes both Spanish speaking and Portuguese-speaking Latin Americans. Persons from Portugal, and all other Portuguese-speaking peoples around the World outside the Americas (e.g. Cape Verdeans or Angolans), are neither Hipanic nor Latino. Latino is a broader term encompassing more people. The choice between the terms Latino and Hispanic among those of Spanish speaking origin is also associated with location: persons of Spanish speaking origins residing in the eastern United States tend to prefer the term Hispanic, whereas those in the West tend to prefer Latino.


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Day of the Dead celebrants, Mission District, San Francisco
Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de Muertos) is a Mexican holiday observed throughout Mexico and around the world in other cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. The celebration takes place on October 31, November 1 and November 2, in connection with the triduum of Hallowtide: All Hallows' Eve, Hallowmas, and All Souls' Day.

In many American communities with Mexican residents Day of the Dead celebrations are very similar to those held in Mexico. In some of these communities such as in Texas the celebrations tend to be mostly traditional. For example, the All Souls Procession has been an annual Tucson event since 1990. The event combines elements of traditional Day of the Dead celebrations with those of pagan harvest festivals. People wearing masks carry signs honoring the dead and an urn in which people can place slips of paper with prayers on them to be burned. Likewise, Old Town San Diego, California annually hosts a very traditional two-day celebration culminating in a candlelight procession to the historic El Campo Santo Cemetery. (more...)

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Lynda Carter2.jpg
Lynda Carter
image credit: JS² Communications

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Estela Ruiz is an alleged Marian visionary in Phoenix, Arizona.

On the night of December 3, 1988, Ruiz, Reyes, their son Fernando, and Fernando's wife Leticia, who was pregnant with their fourth child, were all praying the Rosary. Ruiz in particular was praying for her son Reyes Jr., who was struggling with cocaine addiction and for Fernando and Leticia's marriage. During the final decade, Ruiz says she saw a light emanating from a portrait of the Immaculate Heart of Mary that grew brighter until it forced her to close her eyes. At that moment, the Virgin spoke to her: "Don't you know that I am going to take care of your children?" Ruiz was overcome with emotion and began to cry, calling out, "Qué linda! Qué linda!" ("She's beautiful! She's beautiful!") (more...)


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