When in the US, you think of anyone with heritage from Latin America as Latino.
Be it those with just heritage or they were actually born there.
That is technically true.
However, you do notice one thing about Latin Americans that is different from those born outside of Latin America but with Latin American heritage.
It's a small observation but one worthy of pointing out.
And that observation is how Latin Americans themselves never seem to adopt the term "Latino."
Of course, that's just a generalization.
You have those that probably do.
And everyone is different on how they see certain terms.
Like how I wrote here regarding the fact that seemingly some don't like the term "Iberian America" but plenty in Latin America do use that term in the Spanish language to name their own parks, universities, institutions, etc.
And, when it comes to the term Latin America and not Latino, obviously you have plenty of Latin Americans who go with the term as well.
Like with protesters shouting the term or artists making songs titled with the term.
Calle 13 song
Regardless though, even if a Latin American does identify as a Latino when asked, you don't really hear said individual describe themselves as such.
Down here in Latin America, they'll always go with first describing themselves by their nationality.
Never as "Latino" in my experience.
They are, instead, Mexican, Peruvian, Bolivian, Venezuelan, Nicaraguan, Costa Rican, Cuban, etc.
But not Latino.
They likely don't take issue with the term "Latino" and would say they are Latino if asked but don't actively throw around the term describing themselves as such usually in my experience.
Even though it might be an appropriate term.
In contrast, when you live in the US, you are used to everyone using the term Latino.
Even Latin Americans who were born in Latin America.
When I went to college, you had some though who, as I wrote here, didn't identify as Latin American at all but European but that's another topic.
Putting those aside, you did have some Latin Americans identify with the term "Latino."
And I think part of the reason, at least for them, is because they are now in a minority in this country and wish to identify with a larger group and simply go with the terms used by US Latinos.
At least that is my understanding. It obviously is more complex when you get to the individual and their own motivations to adopting the term.
It reminds me anyhow of other ways that some Latin Americans behave differently when in the US or in Latin America as I wrote here.
And, moving away from them, obviously most of US Latino culture is dominated by US Latinos.
Who have their own reasons for using the term "Latino."
After all, they can't really claim as easily to being Mexican, Peruvian, Nicaraguan or whatever else if they were not born and raised in those countries.
We know that, once they go back to visit those countries, many of the locals will not see them as actually being from those countries.
As not Mexican, Peruvian or Nicaraguan.
But, on the flip side, they wish to cling to some identity as they are not in the majority of the US and where some back home might not see them as really American either.
So they adopt the term Latino.
Of course, that's a very basic generalization and there are likely many other reasons why the term "Latino" is more commonly used in the US than in Latin America.
But that's always been my impression of the matter.
That someone born in Latin America isn't necessarily looking for that broader identity because he has it.
He was born down here and goes with the country that he was born in.
On top of that, I also think Latin Americans broadly speaking are less likely to identify with their heritage of the ancestors and more of the country they are born in (though, as I wrote here, you have some who do that) while obviously plenty of people in the US look at their heritage.
Even to the point white people will say "I'm Irish" or "I'm Italian" and the Latino who says "I'm Latino."
That isn't to say though that you don't have some Latin Americans who seek to identify with their heritage like you can see here.
German village in Venezuela and Afro Argentinians
But, broadly speaking, it just seems a lot less common for Latin Americans as a whole to do that and so instead they'll say "Honduran" or "Ecuadorian" than Latino.
But, perhaps for other reasons also that I'll admit are not likely to come to mind as I'm not Latino, the US Latino obviously will have a harder time claiming such identity by nationality, doesn't see as much commonality with the other non-Latinos in the US and finds his identity by ethnicity.
His Latino heritage.
And will identify as such (and, to be fair, will identify with the heritage of the specific country his parents or whoever came from).
Much of the above reminds me of a recent conversation I had with a Mexican guy about the topic not too long ago in Xochimilco.
Not much was said beyond him identifying first and foremost as Mexican and not using the term Latino ever.
So we'll leave it at that.
Anything to Add?
At any rate, that's all I got to say.
As I said, I'm not Latino or Latin American and so there is likely a lot of that goes over my head regarding this subject.
Simply trying to make sense of a certain detail I have noticed over the years and also to mention said detail for those wishing to learn more about Latin America.
Of course, I'd say that Latin Americans are Latinos by the English definition of the word but simply that the use of the word itself is obviously more common among Latinos born outside of Latin American than those inside it.
But that's all.
If you got anything to add, drop a comment below.
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Thanks for reading.