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  • Latino and Hispanic, Hispanic and Latino.

  • The two words are often used interchangeably, but they're not the same thing.

  • The difference lies in the words themselves.

  • Latino refers to geography, people who were from or descendants of Latin America.

  • That's this area here on the globe.

  • It includes most countries in Central and South America, as well as some in the Caribbean, 20 countries total and some territories like Puerto Rico.

  • The term Latin America was first used by Chilean politician, Francisco Bilbao, in 1856.

  • It was used to describe countries in America whose predominant languages stem from Latin.

  • So, like Spanish, Portuguese, French.

  • That's why Belize in Central America and Guyana and Suriname in South America are not part of Latin America.

  • English is the official language of Belize and Guyana; Dutch and Sranan Tongo are spoken in Suriname.

  • We've recently adopted Latinx as a gender-neutral alternative to Latino and Latina.

  • In the most literal sense, Hispanic also refers to language. People were from or descendants of Spanish-speaking countries that includes places like Spain in Europe and some countries and territories in the Caribbean.

  • It excludes countries like Brazil and others in Latin America, where the predominantly language isn't Spanish.

  • According to the Cervantes Institute, more than 400 million people worldwide are from Spanish speaking countries, and nearly 10% of those reside in the United States.

  • That's a lot.

  • And that's probably why the US government introduced the term in the 1970 Census during Richard Nixon's presidency.

  • So back to the beginning. The two terms shouldn't be used interchangeably because they're not the same thing.

  • You can be Hispanic if you are from Spain, but that doesn't make you Latinx because you're not from the Latin American country.

  • You are Latinx if you are from Brazil.

  • But you're not Hispanic. But you can be both.

  • I'm both.

  • My family is from Mexico, both the Latin and Hispanic country.

  • Now you know!

Latino and Hispanic, Hispanic and Latino.

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