by Rafael Romero | LSUA College of Business
According to the 2020 Census, there are more than sixty million Hispanics in the U.S, and 5.6 percent of Louisiana’s population identifies as Hispanic. We are a lot of people, with significant differences. As Latin Americans, we share a passion for our food, music, literature, and real football (aka soccer). However, we are a diverse group of people. Not all of us speak Spanish. Brazilians speak Portuguese, Jamaicans English, Haitians French, and all throughout the Americas, there is a plethora of indigenous languages recognized by governments like Mexico and Guatemala. Not all of us share the same religion. Although Catholicism continues to have a strong presence in Latin America, other protestant denominations have seen significant growth in recent years, particularly in Central America and Brazil. A quick country comparison using Hofstede’s 6D framework shows that in terms of power distance, individualism, masculinity, uncertainty avoidance, long-term orientation, and indulgence, Hispanics are all over the chart. This rich diversity of values, behaviors, beliefs, and experiences is all part of Latin American culture.
This is an invitation to celebrate your heritage by reading the works of Ernesto Sabato, Mario Benedetti, Isabell Allende, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Carlos Fuentes. Enjoy the rhythms of Salsa, Merengue, Vallenato, Cumbia, Mambo, Samba, Tango, and of course, Reggaeton. Taste a good street taco or paella, empanadas, tamales, and carne asada. Invite a friend to try your favorite food, listen to your playlist, or read a good book with you. But most importantly, use this month to learn about the history of Latin America and the recent events that are shaping its future.
The best way to celebrate this month is by educating yourself and those around you.
LSUA’s Rafael Romero is the Chair of the Management and Marketing Department of the College of Business. He also owns 318 Marketing, LLC, a digital marketing firm in town. He was born and raised in Nicaragua. Romero earned a Law and Economics degree from the Central American University in Managua. He worked for Nicaragua’s Trade Department for several years. In 2008, he earned a Fulbright Scholarship, providing the opportunity to attend Vanderbilt University to pursue an LLM in International Trade and an MA in Latin American Studies. He also earned an MBA from LSU-Shreveport. He contends his greatest accomplishment is being a husband and father.