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Puerto Rican Experiences. Culture, identity, and freedom have been major debatable issues among Puerto Ricans in the US. Since their recognition into the country, they now have the privileges to own properties and move freely within the country without restrictions. However, they still have some similarities and differences from other groups.
Mixed identity is one of the factors both Puerto Ricans and Latin Americans immigrants share in the United States. Latin American descendants are of mixed race ancestry composed of immigrants such as African slaves, Europeans as well as the Middle East and Asians. Similarly, Puerto Ricans lack identity due to their cultural dualism. The population has a mixture of mulattos, whites, and blacks as well (Boyle, 2013). It means that both Latin Americans and Puerto Ricans consist of imperialist society and colonial people’s culture hence confirming their similarity in racial background. Besides, both groups show an increase in socioeconomic contributions. The Millennium era shows that Puerto Ricans have a stable political status in the region. Interestingly enough, Boyle (2013) confirms that there is a growing significance of voting as compared to the past centuries. Just like Latin Americans, Puerto Ricans are nowadays not politically impotent, and they use their advancing power to turn the initial economic suffering into a hopeful horizon.
The location of the island and its composition are the most critical factors making Puerto Ricans unique from other culture. The group suffers from the influence of industrialization which occasionally erodes agriculture (Boyle, 2013). They consider the few agricultural products as of higher quality, and for this reason, they are only available for a particular class. As a result, Puerto Ricans depend on imported food products which are cheaper than locally available food (Boyle, 2013). Tradition as a factor makes them unique in America. For instance, they still believe in the significance of traditional foods during occasions as opposed to the other immigrants predisposed to western culture. The typical example is the consumption of turkey and adobo in thanksgiving ceremonies as well as Arroz con dulce (coconut rice pudding) during celebrations (Boyle, 2013). The aspect of tradition lowers their concentration in innovations hence substantiates why they lag behind in industrialization and technology. Social stratification is another factor contributing to the uniqueness of Puerto Ricans. According to Boyle (2013), the community considers a good family and education more important than wealth. Their unique symbol of social stratification plays a significant role in the increase in political participation, ability to purchase and consume valuable commodities as well as stable control of social and religious problems.
Even though immigrants and refugees still enter the US, they face numerous challenges as they access the country. The inability to communicate in English disappoints several immigrants (Boyle, 2013). Since the US is not a multilingual state, the interested entrants find difficulty in expressing themselves across the borders. Another prominent problem is the cultural barrier which makes refugees not comfortable. The United States has various cuisine and religious practices which impair other groups. For instance, they do not stop in the middle of their work to pray as seen in Muslim communities. Finally, there is a challenge of accessing employment and housing. Obtaining recognition and certification of personal credentials in the country is cumbersome (Boyle, 2013). Similarly, lack of knowledge on how the housing market works prevent immigrants from accessing good shelters. The listed hurdles along with social services, healthcare, and legal advice lower the living standards and morale of immigrants.
A critical debate also falls on whether Puerto Ricans should access voting privileges or not. Puerto Ricans are US citizens, and therefore they should participate in voting exercises like the natives. The first amendment to the United States which gives the voting privileges applies to every citizen of the country. Therefore, allowing Puerto Ricans to vote is one way of exercising democracy by obeying the first amendment to the US constitution. Since they form part of the population, they have a right to be heard. One way of expressing their freedom of speech is through electing competent leaders to represent them in the national and state levels.
Even though differences and similarities exist among various cultures in the US, Puerto Ricans have some unique practices as compared to other immigrants. The multiple challenges they face emerge from their active participation in political and socioeconomic activities. Since the country recognizes them as citizens of the US, these people should access all the public resources and feel protected by the Bill of Rights safeguarding all the citizens of the country.
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