Archived Chat 2

Latino/Hispanic Heritage

This is the archive of our Chat held on February 13, 2001.
Topics: Traditions, history and distribution in Texas. What are the current issues facing them? What are The Colonias, and why is Governor Perry interested in them? Also the heritage of Texas missons and the Vaquero.

edservices: Good morning to any early birds out there!
guest10: Yes, good morning!
tpwken: Good Morning, the Buffalo has arrived. edservices Where are you from? edservices Buffalo, I hope you'll be able to tell us about the vacqueros today!
tpwchris: Buenos dias!
tpwken: I am from the southern plains of Texas. I migrated to Austin a few years ago. edservices Buenos dias, Homero!
guest10: What exactly does a vacquero do? What does the word Vacquero mean?
tpwken: The Vaquero is the hardworking, highly skilled Mexican Cowboy, who developed many of the tools that our modern day cowboys still use today.
edservices: I was wondering if several of you could tell us what the difference is between Hispanic and Latino
itcsarah: I think that in today's world Hispanic and Latino are being used interchangeably to mean any person of Mexican descent regardless of where their relatives came from.
edservices: When I moved to Texas, I was surprised at the ethnic activities that are incorporated in celebrations here that are different from what we did in Pennsylvania. Can some of you tell us about some of the games / celebrations that have Hispanic origins?
itchomero: Hispanic is a term that was thought up in the 1970s for census purposes to increase the numbers of Spanish speaking persons in the U.S. Latinos was the term previously used and it derives from the Latin based speaking countries in Europe.
guest10: What kind of tools did the Vaquero develop?
tpwchris: The vaquero developed lasso's for ranching and all of the equipment used for that purpose.
swtyvette: There are a number of words, such as Latino, Chicano, Hispanic that denote persons who trace their ethnic origins to a country that speaks Spanish or has a Spanish culture. Hispanic is probably the broadest term. Many use Latino as a sense of ethnic pride
itchomero: The vaqueros developed many tools used in ranching today. They made the lariat which we know as a rope. They developed bosales which are nose pieces used on horses. Also the saddle and just about every item used on horses and cattle today.
edservices: Is Latino preferred? Would it be more sensitive to be using "Latino" instead?
tpwchris: One of the oldest Spanish traditions that we (my family) hope to keep alive is having a mariachi sing to your mother outside the front porch on Mother's Day at the break of dawn! edservices Is this pretty common??
tpwchris: In Mexico it is (for the older generation).
edservices: What is the story behind confetti eggs?
tpwchris: By the way, as someone of a mixture of Spanish, Mexican, European, etc., (maybe Native American) decent, I prefer Hispanic. It sounds more formal for some reason.
itchomero: On the word Latino, if it would be proper to use today. It really depends on the area of the country and the social status of people. Older students in universities tend to prefer Chicano. The more conservative or assimilated prefer Hispanic. The older people prefer Latino and some just simply prefer American.
itcsarah: The vacquero is really the source of our Texas Ranching Heritage which began as big haciendas and from the Spanish language comes many of the words now used such as rodeo and chaps.
edservices: Welcome, Emily!
tpwemily: Thanks swtyvette No, not necessarily. I prefer Hispanic myself, but I am often referred to as Latina, Mexican American which are all okay too. I am all those too.
tpwchris: Another popular custom is the celebration of a daughter's 15th birthday with a huge fiesta called a quinceniera.
edservices: I remember tutoring a student from Mexico, who was offended that "American" was used to mean someone from the US He rightly said, America is a continent, and we're all Americans.
itchomero: One story I have heard on the roots of confetti eggs or cascaronres is that when Maxmillian and Carlotta came from France to rule Mexico in the 1860s, Carlotta brought her perfumed talc in the empty egg shells. That's why in some parts of Mexico and the Southwest the cascarones are filled with flour instead of confetti which makes for a more comical appearance when it is cracked on someones head.
edservices: I never heard that story! Is this about the time that we started using them? tpwchris Maybe we should go back to the flour-filled cascarones. It would definitely be funnier and less expensive too!
tpwchris: Did you know that on today's date in 1913, the Texas Legislature named Johanna Troutman as the "Betsy Ross of Texas" since she created the first Lone Star Flag?
itchomero: On the cascarones, I would say that they weren't used in the US until the early 1900s. There is a company in San Antonio I believe that makes beautiful cascarones and they have a nice website. I think you can access it from my website. My website is: I have over 100 links to historical and cultural websites.
edservices: Can someone tell us more about The Colonias? I understand that Gov. Perry want's to try to help The Colonias.
guest10: What are some more celebrations you honor?
swtyvette: I remember a very lively discussion in one of my undergraduate college courses where one student was questioning why we place "American" behind the ethnic group. Ex. Japanese American. His argument was he knew he was Japanese and lived in the US.
edservices: What was his preference?
itcsarah: Dia de los Mueros, Day of the Dead, is a celebration that is new for most Anglo Americans. Families visit the grave sites of family members who have died, bringing food and flowers and then they often spend the day at the grave sharing stories and remembering the person. It is a celebration that I wish my family did. swtyvette The student preferred to say he was Japanese vs. that he was a Japanese American.
guest10: What is the opinion + or - on NAFTA on the Americas?
guest11: I would like to know what are some of your favorite Hispanic foods ? itchomero The Mexican Americans have all type of celebrations. From weddings that can take up to a few days of celebration with mariaches, conjuntos, and orchestra music to backyard birthday parties. Easter is a big family get together for Mexican Americans. Also Cinco de Mayo is now celebrated throughout the US because of Gen. Zaragosa's connection to Texas, where he was born. Also Dia de los Muertos is a very revered day when we go and honor our dead by cleaning and placing flowers in the cemeteries.
edservices: I notice that when someone is killed on a highway, for example, that there is a memorial of some type set up there. I didn't see this in other parts of the country very much. Is this at all related to any Hispanic / Latino custom?
guest11: What is this word conjuntos mean?
swtyvette: Some of my favorite Mexican dishes are enchiladas, aros con pollo (chicken w/ rice), migas (corn tortillas mixed with eggs and spices), menudo (tripe soup)
itcsarah: I support NAFTA because I believe in free trade in the market place and that ultimately any increased spending ultimately increases jobs in some section even though people may lose jobs in some sections of the market.
itchomero: When someone is killed on a highway, the soul of the person leaves the body and as a memorial the family will place a cross or memorial at the place where they were killed. They are called "descansos" or final resting place.
tpwemily: When someone dies in a public place, families place memorials there...this is done throughout Latin America
edservices: This is really interesting -- I really appreciate all this insight! Emily, you have a different background. Want to tell us about it?
tpwemily: I am from Venezuela and moved to the US when I was 15.
tpwchris: My favorite foods include: tamales, fideo, obleas, arroz con pollo, etc. edservices Did you find yourself feeling like you have more in common with Hispanics or was everything so much like the US that it didn't make a difference?
edservices: Chris, what are fideo and obleas?
tpwchris: A conjunto is a group of people.
itcsarah: Homero and I checked out the link to that award winning oral history project and the link is [now dead link] and go to the research component
edservices: To our professor, and student advisor: Are there issues that particular affect Hispanic college students?
itchomero: with the German influence of polkas, shotizes, waltzes, and redovas.The word conjunto means a group of persons, usually four people playing the four different musical instruments, the bajo sexto guitar, drums, accordion, and bass guitar. This music was originated in northern Mexico and south Texas in the early
tpwchris: Fideo is a dish made with noodles, peppers, onions, and spices (some people prepare is differently). Obleas are candies from Mexico made with goat's milk caramel and thin sheets of "bread" (the same stuff you eat at Catholic communion on Sunday's). Very tasty.
tpwemily: Culturally, I had much more in common with other Hispanics/Latinos than with other American cultures. We share our language, many customs, music, foods, etc. itchomero I think I said too much on conjuntos and it cut me of.
edservices: Homero, just continue on. I think you're right,. Just make it two comments. itchomero As Sarah mentioned, the La Grande project is an excellent source for oral history documentation that these students in Edcouch-Elsa H.S. Have accomplished. Check them out.
tpwchris: Did you know that a holiday was finally designated for a Mexican American? Cesar Chavez day on March 31st!
edservices: About the Llano Grande project: how did they get started? Anyone helping them?
swtyvette: Some of the issues that Hispanic students I speak to express, are remembering where we come from. Who we are. College is a melting pot of different cultures, peoples. One wants to belong, fit in. Things are changing. We're celebrating our differences more
edservices: Yvette, what do you think contributes to that change, of celebrating differences rather than fearing them?
itchomero: The Llano Grande project was started by one of their own students who got an Ivy League education and came back to his hometown to motivate his students with this project. They did get a good sized grant, that they themselves wrote, from the Kellogg Corp. for this project. They also give seminars to other schools. I highly recommend them to any schools that might want to learn more about this.
tpwchris: Keeping the Spanish language alive seems to be another barrier. New dialects like Tex-Mex make the Spanish language learning experience more difficult.
edservices: The llano project sounds fascinating. Did anyone see the PBS special produced by Southwest Texas on the The Colonias? Part of it featured a young woman who got to go to Brown University, and what that was like.
edservices: The special was very well done.
guest11: Is the Spanish language spoken in Mexico the same spoken in other Latin American countries?
tpwchris: Seems like there are a few word differences here and there...but essentially the same (except for most South American countries....such as Brazil)
tpwemily: No. Mexican Spanish is very different because of the native languages that have influenced their dialect. Other Latin American countries have/had various native cultures that have also influenced their Spanish.
itchomero: Chris, you are correct in trying to keep the Spanish language alive. As for Spanish being the same in Mexico or other Latin American countries, it varies everywhere you go. A lot of the Spanish in central Mexico is derived from the Aztec nahautl language.
tpwemily: Brazilians speak Portuguese
edservices: Homero, can you tell us more about the origins of the different dialects? (Is dialect the right term?)
tpwchris: Yes, I've experienced the language barrier firsthand. It's very interesting....especially since most of these people that use the ancient dialect also speak and understand Spanish.
itchomero: The Spanish along the US Mexico border has developed into what is known as Spanglish or in Texas..Tex-Mex.
edservices: Can someone give us an example of a word that differs?
itchomero: I don't know about Tex-Mex or Spanglish being a dialect but in Mexico for instance there are many Indigenous people who speak many dialects. I believe that there are close to 100 different dialects throughout Mexico.
tpwemily: The Mexican word for "peanut" is "cacaguate" and in Spain and other Latin American countries it is "mani"
tpwchris: Well, in Central America a "cuaco" is a pelican. In Mexico it is simply a "pelicano".
edservices: That's a major difference! Can you predict by what region you're visiting what language will be spoken? And again, which has had the most influence in Texas?
itchomero: The word in Spanish for buzzared is aura. In Mexico it is referred to as Zopilote which is derived from the Nahautl zopilotl. I'm not exactly sure is zopilotl is spelled correctly but it is close.
itchomero: I meant buzzard, sorry about the misspelling.
guest11: What are some of your favorite flowers/plants/trees found in your country? tpwchris From my experiences, I'm always surprised. I take lots of notes and keep them for future reference.
edservices: By the way, I had created two different charts on the website for cultural awareness, one Hispanic, one Mexican heritage. Perhaps this wasn't a good idea. Suggestions?
tpwemily: If you go to different regions and countries throughout Latin America there are definite differences in the languages (just like the US vs. England or Australia). I have noticed that Texas is most influenced by northern Mexican Spanish.
tpwemily: In Venezuela "vulture" is "buitre"
edservices: We're almost out of time. Anything that you feel is important for students to be thinking about for Hispanic heritage and cultural diversity?
tpwsteve: Does "aura" and "zopilote" mean buzzard? Are there different words for vulture?
tpwchris: In Guatemala, a sea turtle is a "parlama" instead of a "tortuga del mar" (turtle of the sea).
tpwken: Cactus is my favorite. Nopalito, one of my favorite foods from cactus. In a survival mode in the desert cactus can be your only water supply
swtjohn: Keep in mind the the name "Hispanic" includes all Latin based races (i.e., Cuban, Mexican). Given this gamet of cultures, there is bound to be differences in dialects, foods and cultures. I was born in central Texas and I too have noticed differences in my pronunciations of words and customs when compared to those to my cousins further south.
edservices: I can't thank you enough for helping today!
tpwchris: I would like to see the Spanish language kept intact along with the customs. Although evolution is inevitable, knowing how to make a pinata (for example), celebrating Dia de Los Muertos, etc. are worth keeping alive!
itchomero: In Mexico soft drinks are called refrescos. When I was in Guatemala I ordered a refresco and they brough Aura and zopilote both mean buzzard or vulture it just depends what area you are in. If you use aura in central Mexico they wouldn't know what you are talking about. In South Texas people now most know what zopilote means.
edservices: John, yes, this is a real eye-opener for many people! I would like us to do a better job of exploring these rich customs!
itchomero: Looks like what I tried to erase didn't all go through.
edservices: Homero, that must have been quite a surprise -- thinking you were getting a drink!
itchomero: What I meant to say of the refrescos is that is Mexico it is known as that. In Guatemala it is known as gaseoso. In El Salvador is reverts back to refresco. itchomero Sarah, I want to thank you and everyone involved for inviting me to participate in this lively chat.
edservices: We had about 3,500 pre-registered, although 2,400 were from one school. I'll be curious to see if we get more through the week.
swtjohn: Did you know that by the year 2010 demographic experts predict that minorities will become the majority in Texas. There is tremendous opportunity for Hispanics! Get educated, it's worth your time. I know, I earned a Ph.D. and was a migrant worker as a child.
edservices: I can tell you, though, that your comments are great. I think you all had wonderful contributions, and I would like to get more deeply into these topics!
tpwchris: Yes, lots of opportunity out there and lots of groups to help out such as L.U.L.A.C.
itcsarah: So was fun.
itchomero: I think this chat room is a great experience to interact with persons throughout the country.
tpwsteve: This sounds very much like the difference in the US A soft drink in the northeastern US is called a "pop". Growing in central Texas we called them "soda waters", or "sodie water" as I recall. Today soft drinks are generically called "coke".
edservices: Homero, yes, we've had kids from all over Texas, other states, and occasionally other countries participate.
edservices: Again, I thank all of you. I truly hope to devise a more effective method, and try something like this again.
swtjohn: This was really great. Hope to read you soon!
edservices: I'll just sit here until everyone logs off so that I can archive our comments. Thanks and bye to all!
tpwvicki: See you tomorrow.
tpwemily: thank you
tpwken: Good discussion, until next time
edservices: Thanks, Ken

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