The official blog of Susan Landis-Steward, writer of whatever she likes, and co-founder of Puddletown Publishing Group

Learned Something New Today


Okay, not so much new as something that has just refused to register with me. Our dear friends, and comadre y compadre, Lourdes and Joaquin are here for Chinese New Year. We all stayed up too late (well, except for me…the night is still young in my universe) talking and making fools of ourselves the way you can with people you’ve know for 30 years. And, once again, I asked to have the distinction between latino/latina, chicano/chicana, and hispanic explained.

I’m not sure I’ve got it, but for the permanent record, here goes. A latino/latina is anyone from any of the Latin American countries. Basically, Mexico south. Therefore my friends and my Peruvian son-in-law are all Latino.

Chicanos are sort of  yuppies of Mexican descent. The educated, middle-class, pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps Mexicans, leftovers from the 60s movement.

Hispanics used to be people from Spain but now it covers everybody from Spanish speaking countries? I may have that wrong. I told you I have a mind like a sieve. Anyway, if I’m wrong, correct me.

But Joaquin and Lourdes are Latinos, Chicanos, and Hispanics.

Felipe, who is Peruvian, is Latino and Hispanic.

All are Caucasians. Although Lourdes and Joaquin identify also as brown and Felipe does not. Go figure. I just call them all family.

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Comments on: "Learned Something New Today" (1)

  1. Identity and identification is so confusing. A couple of very silent very brown men came in wanting to take a pesticide test for trainees. We have it in English and Spainish so I asked which they wanted. They were from Fiji and were very offended that I would mistake them for Mexicans. Hey, if they had taken off their hats, I would never have made the mistake. Fijian hair is nothing like Mexican hair.

    Wonder how the terms will mutate over the next century. Remember when “Colored” was the polite way to refer to Aunt Jemimah?

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