After Columbus's discovery of America (the Continent), and the subsequent colonizations of most of the new continent by Spain and Portugal, the latino influence was expanded.
Latino is a person who speaks a romance language (i.e. Italian, Spanish, French, Portuguese) or their cultural heritage comes from any country that speaks any of those languages.
In the US the word latino is misused to name only people from Latin America. The Latin America was a term first created to mean "the part of America ruled by Latino countries, Spain and Portugal" in opposition to the Anglo-Saxon America, ruled by the British (now Eastern United States). In this sense, some parts of the United States are part of the Latin America because they were ruled by Spain at some point (California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas).
Giuseppe: You idiot! I'm more Latin than you, I'm from Italy! That's where Latin originated!
The Latin European lands became Latin when The Roman Empire took over them for centuries giving them its culture. These new Latin lands did the same to the lands they conquered in America, Africa and Asia.
In the U.S.A. (where global education is basic) the word took a wrong turn meaning only one of these three things: 1)the people from Latin-America; 2) All Spanish-Speaking people; and 3)Pure or mixed Native-American people who speak Spanish even when their customs may still be very indigenous. Sadly, ignorance has allowed many people (even people from Latin America) to believe the U.S.form.
Latino is an overly vague, catch-all term and a misnomer that attributes a culture to people that don't belong to it, at the same time depriving one of their actual heritage. A Mexican is a Mexican. A Spaniard is a Spaniard. A Puerto Rican is a Puerto Rican.
Manuel: Hmmm, race? What to choose, what to choose... well, I AM white, so I should probably choose caucasian... Wait, never mind! I speak Spanish! Therefore, THIS is my race! (checks the "latino" box)
(example of the obvious flaws in using the term "latin" to describe a Spanish-speaking person)
Cesar: I'm from Mexico and I have REAL latin culture, something whites could only dream of.
Antonio: Well, I'm Italian, I'm white, and I ACTUALLY come from REAL latins. You know, the ones who lived in Europe, not Central America. Your ancestors come from Native Indians.
Cesar: (goes ballistic and calls Antonio a racist gringo)
Argentina,Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Haiti, Paraguay, Peru, Paraguay, Venezuela, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Puerto Rico, Quebec, Saint-Pierre & Miquelon.
Portugal, Spain, Andorra, Italy, Romania, Moldavia, France, Monaco, San Marino, Belgium, Vatican City, Switzerland and Luxembourg.
Benin,Ghana, Angola, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Mozambique, Chad, Djibouti, Gabon, Guinea, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Cape Verde, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Togo, Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of Congo,Cameroon, Republic of Congo, Burundi, Guinea Bissau, Sao Tome and Principe, Equatorial Guinea.
Timor Leste, Macau, Philippines
So a Latino can be of any race
American Dude: wait..why are you asian when you suppose to be mexican.
Maria Miyazaki: ¬¬
**latino is not a race, i'm romanian an 100% latino =)
Alejandro- Cool! Latino pride!
Natives of French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, and Puerto Rico are also considered Latino.
Latino is often used interchangebly with the word "Hispanic", although they are not the same. The term "Hispanic" refers to a person from any Spanish-speaking country, whereas "Latino" refers to a person from a country in Latin America.
A Latino can be of any race. For example, an Argentine is Caucasian, and a Dominican is Black. But they are both Latino.
I disagree with Robert Koehler. I'm Dominican, and I'm white as white paint. How am I black? Amelia Vega, Miss Universe 2003, is also Dominican and she's light skinned, though I'm whiter.
I'm not "less Dominican" just beause I'm light colored, which is how I feel when someone says only dark colored skinned people are Dominican.
That's a misconception made about Dominicans, and stop stereotyping. I'm sure there's some dark-colored Colombians and some white colored Cubans. Every latino country is made up of different people, ranging from white to black. That's why latino countries are so special.
Diversity and Variety. Learn it.