During Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 – October 15) we will be posting articles and information relating to the impact of Latinos in the United as well as looking at their culture from their home countries. Our goal is for Americans to realize that Mexico and other Hispanic countries are more than just stereotypes.
Our first article comes from NBC Latino and is titled “Poll: 1 out of 3 Americans inaccurately think most Hispanics are undocumented” According to the article:
“A new poll released by by the National Hispanic Media Coalition and Latino Decisions finds over 30 percent of non-Hispanics believe a majority (over half) of Hispanics are undocumented. However, the actual figure of undocumented Hispanics in the U.S. is around 18 percent, and only 37 percent of U.S. Hispanics are actually immigrants, according to the Pew Hispanic Center.”
However, if you read the comments section of this article (something I don’t recommend) you will still see the negative, racist, and ignorant views of some posters. (Although, sadly, this occurs on almost every online news story.)
So the question is: how do we educate our students about the reality of Latinos in the US?
During the end of the year, I show a ’30 Days’ documentary showcasing the different perspectives on illegal immigration in the United States. I ask my students to pre-journal and post-journal with their thoughts on the topic. Some students change their opinions, some have their opinions confirmed, but they all can view the topic from a different perspective.
One thing that is very eye-opening is actual facts and numbers in regards to latinos and the rest of the US population. You can download our FREE Hispanics in the USA lesson that includes information about the Hispanic Population from the 2010 U.S. Census and also information about the Foreign-Born population living in the United States. According to the census, 16.3% of the total population is Hispanic, yet 63% of those are born in the United States. Or using data from the foreign-born population from the 2000 US Census that refute such beliefs that Hispanics ‘don’t learn English’; they do; Of the 43% of foreign-born that speak Spanish, 70% Speak English ‘very well’ or better.
(edit: Updated data from 2014 available here)
What about you? What sort of lessons do you use in your classroom to promote the Hispanic culture and its people?