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What is Hispanic Woman or Latina

Hispanic Women/Latina Leaders Overcoming Barriers in Higher Education
In this book these terms are used interchangeably or together to describe women whom are Spanish speaking and/or who descend from any Spanish-speaking country; this includes individuals who grew up in the United States, may call themselves Chicano/a or other terms. Nieto (2013) defined “Hispanic and Latino/a to refer to those of Caribbean, Central American, and South American descent and others whose native or heritage language is Spanish (or, in some few cases, an indigenous language of South America). Government publications generally use Hispanic, while most Latino/a scholars prefer Latino/a” (p. 16).
Published in Chapter:
Influence of Mexicanas Americanas
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3763-3.ch002
Mexican American culture did not originate in one place or even in one country. The culture originated in different regions of the country as the people have moved from place to place, combining the culture of one group with the culture of another as they adapted to a new life. Mexican influences include all their values related to ethics, language, religion, and family; all these make them stand out from the main culture and their influences can be traced from the 1500s, despite the fact that their influence on the history of the United States is deliberately kept vague in textbooks. However, in regard to their religious beliefs, legacy in education, effect on the armed forces, and national organizations, their footprints in the path of our history are clear and easy to read. Their great Mayan, Aztec, Olmeca, and Chichimeca cultures have been remembered and honored and continue to function in their colorful traditions. Government, written history, education, and public media have led the majority of U.S. citizens to believe that Mexican Americans have taken advantage of this country, but they have failed to acknowledge the true history behind the Mexican presence in this country. In this chapter, the author will share the Mexican influence (on food, religion and spirituality education, colonialism to World War II, and the Armed Forces) in the United States, but most importantly, the author will point out the influence of Mexican women/Mexicanas or Chicanas in this country. The chronological overview of Mexicanas is divided into five periods, starting from where they were first settled in the Southwest, then in the Midwest and Pacific Northwest.
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