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Profiling Latino Hispanics in the San Francisco Bay Area
Puerto Rico is American
One would have to be in denial about the results of the US Census report regarding Latino and Hispanics especially on the West coast, Southwest America, and parts of the East coast. Hispanics and Latinos are making up a much larger portion of America's population and with it comes positive and negative results.
In California, they make up 36% of its population or 14 million. Not surprisingly, of that group, children far surpass adults. In the eight SF Bay area counties, 1.6 million Latinos reside, or a quarter of the total population, the adult population of the group earns $30-50K a year. Nationally, 34% earn$40-75K. Of Latino younger adults, about 25% of them are in college. But, 1 in 5 children live in poverty, worse, Latino high school students drop out at the rate 25%, which is far higher than white students, 10%, blacks-30%, Asian-8%.
The source of the problem with Latino students begins way back to the grades K-3. If the students have not mastered English sufficiently enough by the start of 4th grade, studies show they will be more likely to dropout in HS and never go to college. Many of the Latino kids come from Spanish only homes and when they enter school, English is the language. Teachers strive to help them learn it without holding those students that already know it. It is a hard juggling act. The problem continues because many Spanish homes refuse to speak English, which is stupid and self-defeating. It hurts the kids from mastering it and it hurts the adults who are trying to live in a world where English is necessary. Usually, it is Hispanic men of the household who what to keep the native language alive so they do not lose their home country culture. Again, silly, because as the Hispanic child goes through the American school system, they become American and live in two cultures, which at times, tear them apart. The child is then used to translate when in public and this may embarrass them. By the time they reach the teenage years, living in the two cultures is harder, especially when their Latino friends are going to college and are as American as anyone else.
Puerto Rico is American, yet Spanish. Although it is not a State, English is taught in their schools. Most view it as America's 51st state. Passports or visas are not needed. Both languages and cultures mix well because the overall expectation is it is part of America, they can even vote in elections.
Many other states are fast becoming another Puerto Rico.