Historical Report on Race Hispanics/Latin Americans
In the United States, a nation built by immigrants over the bones of the indigenous people, there have been waves of immigrants. In the current waves, there are immigrants from every continent, culture, every ethnicity, every religion, and sub-groups within these groups. Latino immigrants are one of the largest, if not the largest immigrant group challenging the reality of the United States.
In writing about the reality of Latinos/Hispanics in the United States, it is important to provide an ample historical context to understand where we have come from and where the journey is taking us. Another dimension of this history is to become acquainted with U.S. Hispanic Ministry, its demographics, and significant facts and figures. Lastly, I will suggest areas that as Sisters of Mercy, we need to take into account as we search out the meaning of Mercy in the Twenty-first Century...
A History of Conquest
Long before the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock, Hispanics were a presence in these lands. It began immediately with Christopher Columbus’ first voyage of discovery in 1492, and the first Christian evangelization began in 1493 with the Spanish settlements on Hispaniola. The “discovery” of the Americas by Spain was marked by violence. The missionary efforts of Spain were unfortunately linked with the conquerors’ greedy pursuit of wealth. In a very short time, the culture and history of the Indigenous peoples of the Americas was substantially altered. The encounter of Spain with the indigenous peoples of the Americas produced a people, the Hispanic/Latino people. This mestizo (mixed blood) people today live in Mexico, Central American, South America and the United States. The history of Latinos has geographically unfolded in unique ways. This paper focuses on the reality of Hispanic/Latinos in the United States.
The term Hispanic, although useful in referring to a...