The Unlimited Power in the Latino Community: Latino Spirit| December 6, 2012
Now that the 2012 U.S. elections have concluded I think it is timely to reflect on the evolution of the role of the Latino community in the U.S. Even before the elections were over many political pundits were predicting that the Latino community vote would be essential to the results. They were right! All the data points show that the Latino community turned out in record numbers and by a more than 2-1 ratio voted democratic, not republican. Already, forecasters wise of the demographic changes related to Latinos in the U.S. over the past several decades, are predicting the demise of the Republican party due to the Latino vote now and in the future.
This may or may not be true. After all politicians do have the potential to wake up and realize that the cultural, lifestyle and linguistic make up of the U.S. has changed forever. Realizing this they can adjust their message to include the Latino community instead of excluding them as so of them feel. Only time will tell on this.
More interesting to me is the economic reality that runs parallel and around the political reality. If the Latino community can be instrumental in choosing our political leaders, what role might they play or indeed are they playing in our economic reality. The answer is huge. I am not just talking about the $1.4 TRILLION dollar purchasing power the community has ( up 600% in the last 2 decades). I am talking about the shape, texture and needs of an economy that includes such am immense and growing minority community. Not only are Latinos shaping political leadership in the U.S., they are shaping economic realities as well.
How is this? One is the numbers: 50 million Latinos in the U.S. and forecasts to 100 million in the next several decades. Two, the cultural influence. This is connected to cuisine, music, arts, social media, organizations, labor force etc. There is no doubt that the political reality has shifted. Sooner or later we will get an immigration reform law that will allow undocumented Spanish speaking workers the right to live and work in the U.S. Three, family and social structure Latinos live together, eat together, watch TV together, pray together, etc. They model for us the way things used to be in the U.S. when life was simpler and extended family members lived within a short reach of each other. Maybe they were less prosperous days, back then, but were we less happy, less healthy, less anything except with being less stuff that we really didn’t need.
The subliminal power of the Latino community is the most interesting to me. Latino Spirit. How do and might Latinos affect the way we live and think? Although no generalities can be made about any community or peoples, based on my first hand personal experience of interrelating with Spanish speakers here and abroad for almost 30 years I would like to share the wisdom of my experience about Latino culture and the Spanish speakers I know and have known.
1. They enjoy simple the pleasures in life.They are no less happy than non-Latinos and in many cases more content than others with much more economic prosperity than them.
2. They have high morals and family values.
3. No matter how economically poor they offer and give in abundance.
4. They are positive people. No matter how difficult life has been they tend to see their glass half full.
5. They are welcoming to outsiders of different cultures, languages, countries, lifestyles religions etc.
6. Latinos are hard and honest workers. The Latino workers I know enjoy and excel at physical work. They don’t complain that work may require too much of their physical energy. They do what is needed.
In whole they have a lot to teach us the “majority community” about how to live whole and personally rich lives.
So, while you are thinking about updating your marketing vision to include reaching out to this community, you might also update your internal vision to include some ‘old’ values that the Latino community is reintroducing to the present.
Rob Coven is president and founder of Market To Latinos an online, Spanish language based, marketing and consulting company. He has been working and living with the Spanish speaking and Latino community since 1984. He writes blogs and shares important articles and research on the Spanish speaking population in the U.S. and abroad. Call Rob at 706-850-7555 or info@MarketToLatinos.com.Visit our website: Market To Latinos