Mexican Americans have been in the United States for many years. Mexican Americans also known as “Chicanos” used to be well known as migrant workers. They have changed from the role of migrants to immigrants. Mexican Americans usually speak Spanish and they are being taught to speak the English Language in bilingual classes. The core of the Mexican- American social structure lies with their family. Women are seen secondary to their husbands and the husbands are seen as the authority figure and decision makers. Families are very large and the extended family is just as important as the immediate family. Catholicism is the religion most Mexican Americans have. While Catholicism is the primary religion there are other Mexican Americans who are Protestant.
Puerto Ricans are considered United States citizens because Puerto Rico is considered U.S. territory. Puerto Ricans are usually fluent in both English and Spanish which makes life somewhat easier for them in the U.S. Puerto Rican families are typically headed by the women.Religion for Puerto Ricans varies because they may be Baptist, Catholic, Methodist, Muslim, or any other type of religion. Many Puerto Ricans live in Puerto Rico or in and around New York City. Many of them found employment in industry and service areas. Puerto Ricans have as many rights in politics as other United States citizens. They do have a few exclusions. They can not vote for a President and they also are exempt from paying federal taxes. They are also exempt from paying income tax and they also are allowed unrestricted United States Migration.
Many Cuban Americans and their ancestors arrived in the United States looking for a better life. They wanted to come to the United States to get away from their tyrannical government, terrible living conditions and economic struggle. When the Cubans first migrated to the United States women who usually did not have to work outside the home had to seek employment. The Cuban American cultures are influenced by the Spanish colonists that settled in Cuba. Most Cuban Americans belong to the Roman Catholic Church. There are some Cuban Americans, who believe in Santeria, Jewish, and there are some who are non religious. Cuban Americans do not feel that they should forget the Spanish language but they are aware that they need to learn fluent English. Many Cuban Americans have assimilated into the mainstream culture. Associate Content (2007) reported that
“They are politically active with three members in the United States House of Representatives and two Senators in the House of Senate.Cuban Americans are reputed to be conservative politically and to vote overwhelmingly for the Republican Party in elections. Cuban Americans are reputed to be conservative politically and to vote overwhelmingly for the Republican Party in elections.They have been economically successful in "establishing businesses and developing political clout by transforming Miami from a beach retirement community into a modern city with distinct Hispanic flavor” (Wikipedia, 2006). Cubans are accepted in Florida and they are known as hard honest workers” (pg.2 “Hispanics in America”).
Many Venezuelans came to the United States through immigration. Some came to the United States as college students and stayed after college. Many Venezuelan Americans are of Spanish, Italian, or Portuguese descent. Most Venezuelans identify themselves as white. The familial values are much different than other families. Family ties are very strong and they teach their children at an early age to view their family as the key unit to society. Due to the family ties it makes some Venezuelans difficult to assimilate to the mainstream culture. Most Venezuelans are Catholic however they do not attend services and other church functions.Venezuelan Americans are not currently active on the federal government level but many have established careers in local politics and government. Although there are more than 25 Indian languages spoken in Venezuela, Spanish and English are the predominant languages of the Venezuelan American community. According to Gale (2006) “Most Venezuelan American children grow up using Spanish with their families and speak the language fluently. Some Venezuelan Americans speak "Spanglish," Spanish combined with a liberal usage of English words” (Venezuelan Americans, 2006). Venezuelan Americans are prominent in a variety of professions, particularly banking and the petroleum industry. They are often valued for their expertise in these areas. Venezuelan Americans also occupy important positions within the television, publishing, and radio industries. Many Venezuelan Americans have established careers in local politics and government. A growing number of Venezuelan Americans are also pursuing government service on the federal level. The political allegiances of Venezuelan Americans extend across the entire spectrum of American politics.
These four distinctive groups have many commonalities and differences. The major commonalty with the four groups is that the vast majorities speaks Spanish, are Catholic, and have a stronger family bond than the typical American. The major difference between the groups is their level of assimilation and cultural beliefs. While the Puerto Ricans and Cuban Americans are much assimilated to the American norm, the Venezuelan Americans are in the middle of assimilation, and the Mexican Americans are the least assimilated. Mexican Americans and Venezuelan Americans have very strong bonds with their families. Having such bond makes their ability to assimilate into mainstream culture difficult.