Posted on Sunday, 01.10.10
Luis Andres Henaos' Dec. 12 article African immigrants in Latin America -- For Africans seeking better lives, Latin America is the new grail did a good job describing the situation of these new inhabitants (legal or illegal) of the Americas. One could make the argument that Latin America, more than the United States, is the real melting pot of the continent.
Since pre-Spaniard times our region has been a mix of cultures and civilizations, with (thankfully) some native customs and languages surviving today. Surely the combination of indigenous populations, individuals of (mixed) European descent, new African immigrants, plus those of African descent who were brought in significant numbers to mainland countries like Peru, Colombia and Brazil, among other ethnic groups living in our region, make us the undeclared melting pot of the world.
It would appear that the term Latino is increasingly becoming more difficult to adequately define.
ALEX SANCHEZ, research fellow, Council on Hemispheric Affairs, Washington, D.C.