The public and the media use both of these terms interchangeably, but is there a real difference between Hispanics and Latinos, or is it just a matter of preference?
The answer is: there is an actual difference.
Hispanic is a term used to describe Spanish-speaking origin or ancestry. In other words, whether you or your family speak the Spanish language. This includes people from Spain, also known as Spaniards.
Whereas, Latino only refers to a geographical location. In other words, it traces people’s ancestry to Central and South America which is what we know as Latin America. The term Latino includes Brazilians, but excludes Spaniards.
People can be African American and Latino at the same time. They can also be Caucasian and Hispanic or Latino at the same time; it has nothing to do with their nationality.
Ultimately, the United States has always been a cultural melting pot and, whether we self-identify as Hispanics or Latinos, what matters is that we are all Americans in pursuit freedom, new opportunities, and a better way of life.
Where were you born and how do you identify yourself?