Latinos are a recognized group in the United States. The name used by the US government, as the term Hispanic intends to speak about a group of people under the same label. Nevertheless, in the case of the so called ‘Latinos’ or ‘Hispanics’, there is not an exact category to group them all.

It is very difficult to name a group constituted by more than 22 countries, each one of them representing its own tradition and coming from different cultures. Maybe the main connection is the fact that being South of the US border, they share the same destiny of intervention in their individual history.

It is due to that intervention that there are more and more immigrants coming specially from the countries that currently have a strong military presence in them; such is the case of Colombia now and it was the same in Guatemala and el Salvador in years past.

Even though a member of any of the “Latino” countries has its own national identity, once they arrive to US they identify themselves with a more extensive group of people who share their same luck.

Currently the Hispanics have been acknowledged as the largest minority in the US. Suddenly, both the Latinos and the government realize that this group is much more than folklore. I was able to see that clearly this year at the graduation ceremonies in the area. The growing number of Hispanic graduates indicates that they will participate now more and more in the economic and social life of the country.

We now have a growing number of clients that the banks and financial corporations want to do business with, and the marketing departments are targeting this new market. The influence is such that even clothing stores are adjusting to the different tastes of the Latino people. We can see an increasing number of ads in Spanish not only in the Spanish media but also on billboards and TV ads.

Most important of all, we see the politicians very interested in getting the Latino vote. Finally, the people in power are realizing that Latinos are much more than folklore. The Latinos constitute the backbone of this economy; without their presence, the margin of profit of the big corporations would be minimal. The government and corporations already know that. Do the Latinos know how important they are? I think we have to make ourselves aware of this importance and change the mental image that the general public has about the Latinos and the image that we have about ourselves.

The families that are behind each of the Latino students in this country have to become aware of their importance and their rights. Because the Latinos share the load of work, they should also share the benefits that accompany that workload.