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Two days ago, I went to an elementary school for a career day. I went to give a presentation about Latinitas. To my surprise I found out that most of the kids didn’t know what the term “Latino/a” means.

Some kids said that “Latina” is a singer or an actress. I found that this was interesting because the elementary school that I went to is composed approximately of 95% Latinos.

Also, I asked the children if they could name a Latino or Latina that is on the media and some of their top answers were:

  • Nicki Minaj
  • Justin Beiber
  • Jenni Rivera
  • Katy Perry

I wonder whose fault is it for not teaching the children that they are Latinos. Is it the teacher’s fault for not proving that information? Or is it the fault of the parents for not educating their kids?

Views: 53

Tags: Latina, Latinos, elemantary, school

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Comment by Andrea Zarate on March 3, 2013 at 10:31am

I think many students identify as Hispanic because that's what all their school forms say. Even the Census says Hispanic and not until recently did it add of Latino heritage. So I don't think most students identify themselves as anything other than Hispanic (the government term for Spanish speaking people).

But yes I think the school plays a huge part in confusing children of their identities because they aren't taught about their culture instead they are given labels. I would not blame parents because some immigrant parents are susceptible to those government labels too. Everywhere you go you hear the word Hispanic at the doctors office and even on TV.

But I bet if you ask the girls about their family origins they'll tell you I'm Mexicana or I'm Cubana Americana. They know there roots because of their parents and the lessons they instill in them. It's trying to identify with mainstream American culture as a whole group of people that becomes the tricky part.


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