Mestizo, Indigenous or Mulatto: We Are All Latino

Aug 10, 2011
7:37 am

At Latino Rebels we try to combine a bit of everything in order to promote interaction, and bring our readers interesting topics. Our aim is to help reflect and promote healthy debate. As such, one of our readers influence  brought up an interesting point that was ripe for debate.  

The discussion unfolded on Twitter while one of our followers touched on racial/ethnic identification. Our follower stated that majority of Latin Americans are indigenous…"it's a fact that 65-70% of Latinos in US are Mexicans most of whom are Natives." For natives he understood it be to indigenous people.  To some extent we do agree with our reader with the exception of the generalization of his statement.

Given that , in our view,  the majority of Latin-Americans and people from the Caribbean come from mixed cultures influenced by Spain, Portugal, France, Africa and Native Indians this prompted the Rebel research team to start investigating. Here is what we have found.

  1. The majority of Mexicans can be classified as Mestizos. Mestizos is the term used by the Spanish to identify people who were of European and Native descent. 
  2. Salvadorans identify themselves as 85%–90% Mestizo leaving the 12% white Salvadorans as the minority.
  3. According to the Comisión Nacional para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas, as of 2005 there were 103,236,388 Mexicans living in Mexico. Out of that number 10,103,571 9.8% are indigenous. Clearly that is only a tenth of the Mexican population not the majority. 

Once the team finished the time consuming research we came to the conclusion. that native born Mexicans are forever fighting with U.S. born Mexican-Americans on who is more Mexican. Same goes for native born Puerto Ricans fight against Stateside Puerto Ricans for the same reasons.

So we ask this question to our readers:  Is the geographical birth and bloodline of our culture so important to the individuals  that we have to constantly distinguish ourselves from each other? Is this constant search for difference an attempt  to feel superior or more directly linked to our ancestors? Do you not agree that, in the end, we all share the same historical fate? Seriously, we are all in this fight together. 

Note: We did not set out to find facts for the sake of "setting the record straight" rather we did so in the hopes to shed some light on what seems to be a misconception as to the racial make up of Latin Americans, Mexicans and Mexican-Americans. We should be equally proud of the various races that make up our ethnic backgrounds. That is what make us Latinos.  

Revise note: Since originally publishing this blog, additional research has been done to arrive at the conclusion that the data provided was that of the country of Mexico not the United States. According to census figures the actual number of people identifying themselves as Amerindians are 1.2 million  out of 50.5 million which is 0.0238 or 2.38 percent of the total Latino population of the United States. Kudos to the fans for helping us provide accurate information.