1. The term “Hispanic” refers to the people born in the countries that speak Spanish or those that can trace their ancestry roots to Spain or earlier Spanish terrains. “Latino” refers to the groups that have Portuguese origin. Hispanic and Latino are ethnicity, not a race, because they have mixed races that include White, Native Indian, Asian, and Black (Verdugo, 2012).
2. Hispanics have been in the U.S. for over four hundred years, settling in different regions. The group was the second largest to settle in the U.S. after Native Americans. The first group of Hispanic immigrants arrived in the U.S. during the California Gold Rush. It happened immediately after the establishment of the modern boundary between the U.S. and Mexico that marked the end of the U.S.- Mexican war of 1846-1848. Apart from the Mexican miners that arrived in California during the Gold Rush, migration from Mexico was minimal during the nineteenth century between 1840 and 1890. However, at the beginning of the twentieth century, economic development in the American West demanded an increase in the labor force, thus, reducing the immigration restrictions and attracting more Mexicans. In 1900, there were about 100,000 Mexican immigrants in the U.S. In 1910, Mexican Revolution intensified the movement of people across the border (Verdugo, 2012). The number of Mexican immigrants has continued to increase ever since. Today, the U.S. government has not managed to account for the number of Hispanic migrants that circulate or settle as American residents.
3. Over the past few decades, there has been a great downfall of the household wealth among the Hispanics, which is attributed to the economic depression of 2007. Hispanics have low personal income; therefore, a vast number has debts on their homes. Further, poverty rate has increased among the Hispanics in comparison with any other group. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Latinos have the highest unemployment rate compared to other ethnic groups (Braveman, Cubbin, Egerter, Williams, & Pamuk, 2010). Again, most of the Hispanics are illiterate; therefore, they only secure low-paying manual jobs. Despite all the hardships faced by Hispanics, they remain among the fastest-growing ethnic groups in the U.S. The growth is attributed to the high fertility rate, high ethnic contribution, and high level of immigration.
4. Susto is a cultural illness among Latin American cultures. It is a condition of being startled and terminal somatic suffering stemming caused by emotional trauma or witnessing a distressing experience of other people.
Empacho is a Central American culture-based syndrome of gastrointestinal distress that causes obstruction in the stomach. It is an indigestion or GL malaise that causes abdominal pain mostly in infants and children. Some of the symptoms of empacho include vomiting, diarrhea, bloating, and lethargy. It is treated by folk practitioners through external massage or internal treatment using herbal tea, olive oil, and commercial laxatives.
Mal de ojo means casting an evil eye that causes misfortune. It is a curse cast through a wicked look at an individual without his or her awareness. Mostly, the evil eye casts on infants when a malicious person admires them.
5. Curanderismo is a traditional practice of healing conducted by a curandero (a traditional native healer or witch doctor) in the Latin American culture. The curandero provides medication for emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical sickness.
Santeria, also referred to as Regla de Ocha or La Regla de Ifa, is a religion that is characterized by the worship of saints.
Espiritismo is a spiritual concept that involves communication with spirits in the congregation of people of the same beliefs. Espiritismo has a precept of believing in an omnipotent supreme deity who is the creator of the universe. Espiritismo does not have a sole leader or a center of practice, but varies between individuals and groups.
6. Some of the most common health risk behaviors among the Hispanics in the U.S. include smoking, poor diet, and lack of physical exercise leading to overweight. Obesity is the most common disease among the Hispanics. It causes other health risks such as hypertension, gallbladder disease, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, diabetes, and different types of cancer (Braveman et al., 2010).