Latinas/os are now the largest Global Majority population in North, Central, and South America and the Caribbean. It’s common now in the United States to refer to us as Latinas/os. This is a term of convenience for the society at large, but it falls short of accurately describing who we are.

We have backgrounds that overlap many groups and skin colors. We have played distinct and important roles in the development of our societies, including in producing wealth and contributing to the upward trend for humanity. We are all descendants of Indigenous communities. These important facts are not known by the majority of us.

Many of our ancestors were forced by brutal circumstances to assimilate, to forget their mother languages and traditional ways of thinking and of living in relationship to the earth. We are faced with a kind of historical amnesia. Our histories are mostly unknown to us due to what our people had to do to survive.

We have been colonized, have been subjected to policies of genocide, have been exploited as workers, and have fallen into addictions. Some of our ancestors and some of us have collaborated with the oppression or what’s been described as “progress.” We have common patterns of survival that include contempt toward one another and ourselves and believing that the dominant culture provides a better way to live or to be.

If you are Latina/o, what’s been your experience—in your family, in your neighborhood or community, in your mind?

Lorenzo Garcia

International Liberation Reference Person for Chicanos/as

Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

Reprinted from the RC e-mail discussion list for leaders of Latinos/as and Chicanos/as

(Present Time 186, January 2017)

Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00