As mentioned in an article, addressed to the lives of Hispanics (Latinos/Latinas for example) in the United States, it is estimated that by the year 2050 a certain percent of the U.S. population will be of Hispanic ethnicity. However, despite this estimation, there are still some differences and inequalities in some factors between Latinos and non-Latinos living. Such disparities are clearly manifested in the lives of Hispanics in regards to their health care, employment, literacy, and access to other public services. One probable cause of these is the difference in cultural structure and traditions between the two differing group of people. In turn, there are some individuals or organizations, which look for ways to solve this problem. There are programs like the Proyecto Nueva Vida (PNV, Project New Life) that were intended to improve and maintain the access to care for such people experiencing disparities in the society (Hyman., 695). Nevertheless, one thing that seemingly makes this hard to do is that cultural perspectives and traditions of both groups of people cannot be changed. Thus, while keeping their cultural standards and positions, there should be ways how to relate to one another relative to their own differing views in life. For instance, there is a discussion (included in the article) upon the cultural standards and guidelines for working with Hispanics. This will be the focus of this paper: assessing the cultural standpoint of Hispanics and relating them as how to work with such group of people.
The first assessment done is upon the language of Latinos. Hispanics in the first place, are people whose first language is Spanish. Nevertheless, they can already speak in the American language fluently; they are eloquently bilingual. However, Hispanics still find it hard to communicate in times when words have to be accompanied with intense feelings or when deep thoughts and ideas have to be conveyed. In relation to this issue, many agencies have employed bilingual interpreters for these people. However, many attest that in this practice, Hispanics often experience discomfort and there are potentially negative impacts upon them; in most programs, the use of interpreters has “no good” at all. There are things like abstract ideas for example, which cannot be clearly translated by the translators. Thus, when it comes to verbal interaction with the Hispanics, an individual may find it hard – at some points – to communicate clearly and adequately with them. This is one consideration for working with the Latinos/Puerto Ricans.
Another thing that must be considered is the set of cultural viewpoints and structure of these people. The following discussion will include six particular cultural constructs Hispanics have, along with their implications and practice recommendations. The first one is the Dignidad y Respecto or Dignity and Respect. The Spanish proverb in relation to this cultural construct is: “Honor your elders and appreciate the young.” This cultural standpoint promotes fairness, understanding, and connection/cooperation between every human relationship. Two recommended practices in relation to this view is an attending to the environment of Hispanics to communicate respect for the culture and seeking deep understanding of problems to keep dignity.
The second cultural construct is the Familismo, which stresses the bond, reciprocity, and loyalty to family members extending from the immediate family to the relatives. This focuses more on strengthening relationships of the family, and the thinking of other’s needs and goals instead of self-interests. This cultural construct may imply that professional or public assistance may be sought only after the family has tried to help. Thus, a recommended practice in relation to this is that if a person has a family problem and he/she shows it as a priority, integrate the family and attend to their problem(s), accordingly.
The third cultural construct is the Personalismo. This simply refers to viewing and doing things related to personal preference rather than formal one. One implication of this is that individuals may prefer or expect close social relationships in every context of living. A recommended practice is greeting clients or any person when they get in or out of the office.
The fourth cultural construct is Machismo. This is illustrated by the notion “A man should be homely, hardy, and honourable.” The Machismo construct is very relevant to every man since it holds the virtues of masculinity, leadership, courage, and other manly traits. This helps in building the true character and nature of male Hispanics. One recommended action in relation to this is providing educational and vocational means in Hispanic communities in order to bring back the trustworthiness of the people.
The fifth is Marianismo, which is in relation to Latinas. The idea in this construct is that women are expected to be sacrificial and selfless in nature; they are seen to have humility and kindness. However, this position may bring a woman into difficulties of keeping herself in adherence with this belief – sacrifice and selflessness. Thus, there must always be appropriate assistance for the Latinas in every aspect of living.
Lastly, Hispanics have the cultural construct Religion and Spirituality. This simply asserts that Hispanics have their own religious beliefs and positions, which somehow affects their daily lives. The only recommended action in relation to this is exploring their religious belief system and making some ways for them to keep their beliefs.
To conclude, the way of working with Hispanics should always be in adherence to their language, culture and some viewpoints. Like any other cultural people, they have certain beliefs and practices that should be kept and respected, rather than being taken away from them.