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La Cultura Latina


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Title: La Cultura Latina

La Cultura Latina
  • por Cristina Zimmerman
  • Public Schools of Crete

La Cultura Latina
  • The Latino Family and Latino Pride
  • The Community and Social Etiquette
  • Religion and Latino Celebrations
  • Education in Mexico

Family Roles and Latino Pride
  • Terminology
  • Comparison of Cultures
  • The Latino Family
  • Characteristics of Latinos
  • Assimilation into US culture
  • Extension activity

  • Race How is it defined?
  • By color? Are we black or white? Or Brown?
  • When we use the term Hispanic, what do we mean?
    Race? Ethnicity? Color of a persons skin?
  • What do you think???

What does race mean?
  • From Collins English Dictionary a group of
    people of common ancestry, distinguished from
    others by physical characteristics, such as hair
    type, color of eyes and skin, stature, etc.
    Principal races are Caucasoid, Mongoloid, and

  • Caucasoid, Mongoloid, and Negroid???
  • Huh?

Defining Race
  • The problem with the definition of race is it is
    too difficult to confine AND define. Consider
    the Census definition

  • White People having origins in any of the
    original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or
    North Africa
  • Black or African American    People having
    origins in any of the Black racial groups of
  • American Indian and Alaska Native People having
    origins in any of the original peoples of North
    and South America (including Central America),
    and who maintain tribal affiliation or community
  • Asian People having origins in any of the
    original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia,
    or the Indian subcontinent.
  • Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander People
    having origins in any of the original peoples of
    Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands.

Where do Hispanics or Latinos fit in?
What about ethnicity?
  • Ethnicity is displayed in values, attitudes,
    lifestyles, customs and rituals
  • Is this a better definition?
  • Is it the same as nationality?
  • What is your ethnicity? American?
  • Does this definition now incorporate CULTURAL
    differences, rather than biological?
  • Is it more inclusive, or exclusive?

Ethnicity is
  • A better definition, although there are flaws as
  • Could be debated forever!
  • The Census identifies those from Mexico, Spain,
    Latin and South America as Hispanic. They use
    ethnicity, rather than race to classify them.
  • So, what the heck does HISPANIC mean?

Ethnic Names
  • Which is more PC Hispanic, Latino, Chicano, or
  • The answerit depends on whom you ask!

Ethnic Names
  • Hispanic wide usage in the United States in the
    1970s, Hispanic was the term for Puerto Rican
    émigrés in New York, Cuban refugees in South
    Florida, Mexican migrants in Los Angeles and the
    descendants of Spanish settlers in northern New

Ethnic names, cont.
  • Latino refers to the same group of people, but
    has a more Spanish feel and is preferred by most
  • Chicano a term specifically for Mexicans more
    slang, but shows great pride

Ethnic names, cont.
  • Hispano would be the perfect solution for the
    ethnic name debate because it encompasses all
    Spanish-speaking groups and sounds Spanish. No
    one seems to like it!

Are we done yet?
  • Now, do you understand the difference?
  • I use them all. I prefer Hispanic as a noun and
    Latino as an adjective, but I use them all.

The Latino Family
US Family 1940
US Family 2003
Compare and contrast family roles of a family
from 1940 to one in 2003
The Latino Family
  • El Padre strong figure has the final say
    provider of family children taught that men are
    more important than women machismo (manhood,
    honor, and dignity)

The Latino Family, cont.
  • La madre nurturers keep the home together
    most stay at home somewhat submissive, but roles
    are changing

The Latino Family, cont.
  • Los ninos gender, then age important in
    determining family power boys take over when
    father leaves girls clean and cook at young age
    boys have more independence than girls

The Latino Family
  • Latino parents are very strict. Children do not
    usually leave the house unaccompanied, unless
    they are over the age of 18.
  • Girls are not allowed to date until they are at
    least 15, and even then they are sometimes
    chaperoned by parents.
  • A boy cannot date a girl until he has met her
  • Children do not move out until they are married.

The Latino Family, cont.
  • Extended Family provide support, guidance
    family more important than anything may all live
    in the same house or share land

Characteristics of Latinos
  • All Latinos do not share the same physical
    characteristics. Some are black, others Indian,
    and even others European.
  • They do, however, share similar values,
    attitudes, and personality traits.

Characteristics, cont.
  • Latinos are respectful, docile, and restrain from
    showing anger. They prefer to work cooperatively,
    rather than competitively.
  • Latinos have a relaxed concept of time.
  • Typically, they are not short-term goal setters.

Characteristics, cont.
  • Latinos find greater importance in relationships
    and strong families, rather than money and
    material goods.
  • All faith and trust is placed in God. He will be
    a constant source of guidance and strength. La
    Virgen de Guadalupe is also important to Latinos.

The Latino Family, cont.
  • Latinos take pride in a strong family and stable
  • Parents take pride in ensuring their children are
    educated, but worry more about instilling good
    morals and religion in their lives.

The Latino Family, cont.
  • Most Latinos are Roman Catholics, although there
    is a growing number converting to Protestant
  • Because of their deep faith and religious
    convictions, divorce and premarital sex is looked
    down upon.
  • However, both are becoming more prevalent.

Assimilation to US Culture
  • Assimilation is sometimes delayed due to the
    proximity of their home country. Latinos
    frequent their homeland to visit family and
    remember their culture.
  • Some say lack of assimilation is due to
    discrimination and a longing to retain their own

Assimilation, cont.
  • In Latino countries, cars are not important.
    However, once they are in the US it is more
    affordable to buy a nice car, than a home.
  • It becomes a source of pride for Latinos, thus
    the many low riders and souped-up cars.

Assimilation, cont.
  • Many family roles and values are changing for
  • Many second and third generation Latinos are very
    similar to other American ethnic groups.
  • Mothers are working, and fathers help with the

Assimilation Skit
  • You and a partner are to role play a situation
    between a Latino parent and their child. The
    family is new to the US, and the child would like
    to go out with friends. With what you have
    learned today, play out this situation with as
    much seriousness and honesty as possible. Some
    situations may or may not be performed, but we
    will discuss topics that come up.

Communities and Social Etiquette in Latin
The Community
  • Many cities and towns in Latin America share the
    same architecture, city lay-out, forms of
    transportation, etc.
  • Much of these characteristics are founded in
    European, specifically Spanish, culture.

  • In all established towns, the center of town has
    what is called un centro or una plaza.
  • The plaza contains trees, benches, and small
  • Surrounding the plaza, one can find restaurants,
    small shops, banks, pharmacy, etc.

Centros, cont.
  • Usually a safe part of town (during the day)
  • Most are a block long and wide, although some are
  • Many cities will have more than one plaza/park.

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  • Very few large retail chains exist in Latin
    America. Most are family and locally owned.
  • Chains exist in the very large cities where
    private transportation is common and space is
    available for parking.
  • Examples of chains Benavides Farmacia, WalMart,
    Gigante, Comercial Mexicana, Sears, JC Penney

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Businesses, cont.
  • Most offices are open from 900 AM to 500 PM,
    but can stay open until 700 PM, Monday through
  • Most leave for lunch around 200 PM and take
    anywhere from one to two hours.

Businesses, cont.
  • Supermarkets are open seven days a week from 900
    AM to 1200 AM.
  • Street front stores, which are more prevalent
    than strip malls, are open from 1000 AM to 800
  • Such stores are similar to ones you see in NYC
    right next to each other with pull down garage
    doors as entrances.

Businesses, cont.
  • Many people shop for groceries in mercados, open
    air markets where fresh fruit and vegetables are
    available for cheap.
  • One can also find large cuts of meat, rice,
    beans, and tortillas at the mercado.

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  • Another popular place to shop are los tianguis
    (similar to outdoor swap meets) where prices can
    be negotiated.
  • Not available everyday of the week, but one can
    find almost anything there nail polish, radios,
    clothing, pottery, etc.

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Public Transportation
  • Because car financing is not readily available,
    most own very old cars that were purchased with
  • Therefore, public transportation is very
  • Cabs and buses are readily available, and
    relatively inexpensive.
  • Drawback often dirty, sometimes animals allowed
    on buses.

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  • There are private and public hospitals, and
    hospitals supported by Seguro Social..
  • Public hospitals are cheaper, if not free, but
    care is not as adequate. Facilities are dirtier
    and staff is not as qualified.
  • Waiting period is extensive.

  • Private hospitals are usually cleaner, and care
    is much better.
  • These hospitals are rather expensive, and exclude
    much of the population.
  • Seguro Social hospitals are covered by the
    governments health care system. These hospitals
    are not always available in rural areas.

  • Most border towns are full of pharmacies. This
    is because pharmacists can prescribe medication
    to anyone, with the exception of narcotics. Many
    US citizens flock to Mexico because prices are
    cheaper and there is no need for a prescription.
  • Very few pharmacy chains exist in Latin America.

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Latino Houses
  • Majority are made of brick and stucco very few
    of wood construction or aluminum siding.
  • Many take years to build due to lack of
    financing many are built as the family earns the
    money to build it.
  • House have similar square footage, but many are
    built taller and narrower

Houses, cont.
  • Many lack yards, but have concrete patios
  • Many do not have garages, but carports. Rarely
    do you see two-car garages.
  • Most houses are surrounded by concrete walls and
    have an iron gate at the entrance.

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Houses, cont.
  • Houses are poorly insulated. Few contain air
    conditioning, and even fewer have a heating
  • Many lack hot water heaters.
  • Few homes have carpeting. It is considered a
    luxury. Many homes will instead have ceramic
  • Televisions are rarely seen in the living room.
    Families watch TV together in the bedroom.

Houses, cont.
  • There is a great need for housing in Latino
    countries, but financing is very hard to get.
  • Many couples will live with their parents until
    they can save the money for their own.

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  • Many areas of a city are divided into Colonias.
  • Sometimes cab drivers need to know your colonia
  • They are similar to subdivisions and are used in
    ones address
  • 826 Nachital
  • Col. Mitras Sur
  • Monterrey, NL
  • CP 02410

Standard of Living
  • 82 of Mexicans have access to running water.
    This does not mean indoor plumbing, but a source
    of water from a pipe somewhere on the property.
  • Access to electricity has increased from 51 in
    1980 to 64 in 1990.
  • Numbers are much higher in well-developed cities,
    like Mexico City, Aguascalientes, and Monterrey.

Standard of Living, cont.
  • 20 of homes in 1990 had dirt flooring. States
    such as Chiapas, Guerrero, and Oaxaca has as many
    as 50.
  • Minimum wage is about 100 a month, plus
    benefits, although few people in a business or
    formal setting make so little.
  • Min. legal work benefits include Seguro Social
    15 days of wages at the end of the year five
    paid holidays eight hour days retirement and
    profit sharing. Few receive these benefits.

Social Etiquette/Norms
  • Most Latinos dress more formally than Americans.
  • No one wears shorts, except perhaps at the beach.
  • The easiest way to spot a tourist is by looking
    for people in shorts. (New white tennis shoes is
    another clue!)

Etiquette/Norms, cont.
  • Although a Latino may not have new clothing, they
    always dress conservatively and as well as
  • They do not like the typical Americans style of
    dress, but are gradually picking up our style of

Etiquette, cont.
  • It is impolite to turn people down. If you
    organize a party, most people will assure you
    that you they will attend, regardless of whether
    they will or not.
  • Often they may stretch the truth, rather than
    come right out and say, no.

Etiquette, cont.
  • When out dining, it is impolite to split the
    bill. The person who invited should pay.
  • Tipping is around 10.
  • Restaurants are more formal than many US
    restaurants. Most servers are male, and dress
  • Good manners are extremely important.

Etiquette, cont.
  • Time is very flexible in Latino countries. Many
    informal events do not start on time, as most
    Latinos do not arrive on time.
  • It is not meant to be rude, but just a group

Etiquette, cont.
  • Professional titles are important, if you are not
    on an informal basis with that person.
  • If one has earned a bachelors degree, you should
    use the title Licenciado. An engineer is
    referred to as Ingeniero, and a doctor as Doctor.

Etiquette, cont.
  • If you are on an informal basis with someone, it
    ok to give a woman a kiss on the cheek.
  • Man to man usually greet one another with a firm
    handshake, or a one armed hug.
  • Professional titles are not necessary however,
    if a person is older than you, it might be a good
    idea to show them respect by using the Usted form.

Extension Activity
  • With the new information you have on communities
    in Latino countries, plan one of your own. Label
    your plan using these new vocabulary words
  • Iglesia (church) Plaza (plaza)
  • Farmacia (pharmacy) Tienda (store)
  • Banco (bank) Mercado (market)
  • Restaurante (restaurant) Casa (house)

Religion, Ceremonies, and Holidays
  • Religion is the driving force in the lives of
  • Many attend daily mass.
  • Sundays are days set aside for church and the
  • Many say the rosary daily in their homes and
    light candles for prayer.

  • Baptisms (bautizmos) are very similar to those in
    the US. Baptisms are only for family and
    friends, and is rarely performed in front of the
    entire congregation.
  • A small difference is el bolo. Traditionally,
    the godparents of the child throw gold coins in
    the air for everyone else to pick up. The gold
    coins have been replaced with pocket change.

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Ceremonies, cont.
  • A quinceañera is the celebration of a girls 15th
    birthday. It is the day that a girl becomes a
    woman in Latino culture.

Ceremonies, cont.
  • The quinceañera has her own mass, with friends
    and family in attendance.
  • She is accompanied by her damas (maids) and
    chambalanes (escorts).
  • The quinceañera wears a white, sometimes pink or
    lilac, gown and a headpiece.

Cermonies, cont.
  • At the reception her court performs a
    choreographed waltz.
  • The damas wear gowns, and the chambelanes wear
  • At the reception, there is always the toast to
    the Quinceañera, known as the brindis. With
    specially decorated champagne glasses for the
    Quinceañera, the guests are invited to offer
    their congratulations and best wishes.

Ceremonies, cont.
  • The traditional gifts to the Quinceañera have
    special meaning for the celebration, and they
    relate to the Quinceanera's coming of age.
  • The traditional gifts are special signs of
    loyalty and commitment to God, family and the
    community. Where the celebration includes the
    Mass of Thanksgiving, the gifts are presented to
    the priest for special blessings.

  • Tiara Denotes a "princess" before God and the
    world a triumph over childhood and ability to
    face the challenges ahead.
  • Bracelet or ring Representing the unending
    circle of life, it symbolizes the unending
    emergence of the young woman's abilities and
    future contributions to society.
  • Earrings A reminder to listen to the word of
    God, and always hear and respond to the world
    around her.
  • Cross or MedalSignifies faith - in God, in
    herself, and in her world.
  • Bible or rosaryImportant resources to keep the
    word of God in her life.
  • Sourcehttp//

Ceremonies, cont.
  • The tiara plays a role in the actual Quinceañera
    ceremony. It is traditional for the headpiece
    worn by the Quinceañera to be ceremoniously
    replaced with the TIARA. The "crowning" is done
    either by her parents or the godparent presenting
    the gift.

Ceremonies, cont.
  • A scepter is also presented to the Quinceañera at
    the same time. The scepter, being an emblem of
    authority, signifies authority (and
    responsibility) now being given to the young
    woman for her life.
  • This ceremony usually takes place at the

Ceremonies, cont.
  • A wedding is a very important ceremony in Latino
    culture. They are very big celebrations.
  • Most weddings are similar to those in the US,
    with a white wedding gown, tuxes, religious
    service, and reception.
  • However, there are a few extra traditions that
    the US does not have.

Ceremonies, cont.
  • Most couples to be wed select sponsors for their
    wedding. These sponsors pay for items, like
    flowers, rings, reception, gold coins, etc.

Ceremonies, cont.
  • During the ceremony a lazo is placed by the
    sponsors around the couple as a symbol of unity.
  • A lazo is a long chain, made of rosary beads, in
    the shape of an 8.

Ceremonies, cont.
  • Also presented to them are las arras, 13 gold
    coins with an imprint of the Lady of Guadalupe.
  • The man presents the coins as a pledge that he
    will be the provider for the family. The bride
    then vows to help manage his money.

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Ceremonies, cont.
  • At the reception everyone enjoys the music from a
    Mariachis band traditional Latino food, such as
    mole and dance.
  • The dollar dance is also very popular, but with a
    little twist Dollars are pinned to the brides

  • Many Latino holidays revolve around religion.
  • Because most Latinos are Roman Catholics, these
    holidays focus on the Catholic religion and often
    celebrate saints and liturgical events.

Latino Holidays
  • Semana Santa is the equivalent of our Holy Week,
    which starts on Palm Sunday and ends on Easter.
  • All schools and some businesses are closed for
    that week. It is a time not not only for
    religion, but vacationing. Many resorts are
    booked for that week.

Holidays, cont.
  • Many cities will have reenactments of Jesus last
    walk, and many people get together after mass on
    Good Friday or Easter.
  • A popular item is a cascarone, an egg shell
    filled with confetti that is smashed on another
    persons head.

Holidays, cont.
  • Another important religious holiday is Día de los
    Muertos. It coincides with All Saints Day,
    November 1st and 2nd.
  • Families clean and decorate the graves of their
    dead relatives. They make their relatives
    favorite food and take it to the grave.
  • It is believed that on this day, the dead will
    come back to visit and enjoy the celebration.

Holidays, cont.
  • Many areas are adopting American traditions, such
    as Trick-or-Treating, but in many rural areas,
    the tradition remains the same.
  • Other goodies include calabazas, candy-shaped
    skulls, and pan de muertos, bread of the dead.

Holidays, cont.
  • A Mexican religious is Día de la Virgen. It is a
    day to celebrate the Lady of Guadalupe, Mexicos
    patron saint.

Holidays, cont.
  • Tradition says that the Virgin Mary appeared to a
    poor peasant, named Juan Diego. Mary instructed
    Juan to build a church on the spot where she
    appeared to him. However, when Juan Diego tried
    to convince the bishop to build her a church, he

Holidays, cont.
  • The bishop requested proof from the peasant.
    Later, when Mary appeared for the third time to
    Juan Diego, he asked her for proof of her
  • Mary instructed Juan to climb the hill, where he
    would find a variety of roses to cut and take to
    the bishop. This was considered a great sign
    because it was the middle of December, when all
    flowers were dead.

Holidays, cont.
  • After Juan Diego had cut the flowers, he returned
    to the bishop. When he opened his cloak to let
    the roses fall to the ground, a beautiful image
    of la Virgen appeared.
  • That cloak shows nearly no signs of decay nearly
    500 years later, and is stored in La Basilica de
    Guadalupe in Mexico City.

Holidays, cont.
  • December 12th is a day set aside to celebrate the
    Lady of Guadalupe. Thousands of people make a
    pilgrimage to visit the Basilica.
  • Some will walk on their knees for a mile before
    entering the church to show their love for la
  • Others celebrate by attending mass, fireworks,
    singing Las Mañanitas, and preparing food.

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Holidays, cont.
  • Another important day for Latinos is their Name,
    or Saints, Day.
  • It was the custom many years ago, that you were
    given the name of a saint that your birth date
    fell on. That is not so much the case anymore.

Holidays, cont.
  • Today, one celebrates not only their birthday,
    but their Saints Day. Every day of the year has
    a day where Saints are remembered.
  • Is is customary to sing Las Mañanitas to the one
    being honored.
  • Also, a small gift may be given as well as their
    favorite foods.

Holidays, cont.
  • There are many other non-secular holidays.
    However, many of the dates vary from country to
    country because of their relationship to
    important battles or days of independence of that
  • For example, Cinco de Mayo is a popular holiday
    in the US. Many believe that date is Mexicos
    Independence day. However, it is a date that is
    celebrated because of an important battle won in

Holidays, cont.
  • The importance of Cinco de Mayo is significant as
    a celebration of Latino pride in the US. It is
    not nearly as popular in Mexico.
  • Mexicos Independence Day is September 16th. On
    this day, many celebrate with fireworks, food,
    and festivities.

Holidays, cont.
  • In Mexico City, the nations capital, thousands
    gather in El Zócalo to hear the president recite
    El Grito, a famous cry by Father Miguel Hidalgo
    on the night of Mexicos independence from Spain.
  • "Long live religion!, Long live Our Lady of
    Guadalupe! Long live the Americas and death to
    the corrupt government!".

Extension Activity
  • Pick up a copy of a recipe for Pan de Muertos in
    Spanish and in English.
  • The Spanish recipe is in order, but the English
    one is not. Using context clues and background
    knowledge, put the steps in order on the English
  • We will go over the answers in a few minutes.

Extension Activity
  • Estas son las mañanitas que cantaba el Rey David,
  • Hoy por ser día de tu santo, te las cantamos a
  • Despierta, mi bien, despierta. Mira que
  • Ya los pájaritos cantan, la luna ya se metió.

Education and the Government
  • On a piece of paper, please make a guess as to
    the following percentages
  • 1. of Americans who have completed
    elementary school
  • 2. of Americans who have completed
    middle/jr. high school
  • 3. of Americans who have completed high
  • 4. of Americans who have a college education

  • Next to those percentages, make a guess for the
  • 1. of Mexicans who have completed
    elementary school
  • 2. of Mexicans who have completed
    middle/jr. high school
  • 3. of Mexicans who have completed high
  • 4. of Mexicans who have a college education

  • Only 62 of Mexicans have an elementary
  • 19 have completed secondary school.
  • 10 have completed high school.
  • 3 have a college education.

  • All public schooling (grades 1-9) is free and
  • Many, however, fail to attend especially in rural
  • There is no authority to ensure that all children
    attend school no legal system to prosecute
    parents if their children do not attend.

Structure, cont.
  • Approximately 300,000 children who should be in
    the first grade did not attend
  • 880,000 drop out of primary school annually, even
    though school is compulsory.
  • Enrollment is not called enrollment, but

La Primaría
  • La Primaría is similar to elementary school.
  • It lasts six years, where students study basic
    coursesno electives.
  • Class begins at 730 AM and are done by 1 or 130
    PM to make it home for lunch.

La Primaría, cont.
  • Many rich and middle-class families go to private
    schools. Many of these schools are bilingual.
  • Students receive a far superior education in
    private schools.
  • All students, private or public, wear uniforms to
    school. Usually a dark bottom and white top.

La primaría, cont.
  • 22 of all primary schools are only have one
    teacher and 20 of all schools did not offer all
    six primary grades.
  • The government estimates that 20.2 million
    Mexicans had not completed a primary education.

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La Secundaría, cont.
  • La Secundaría is similar to our junior/middle
  • 19 of all students were enrolled in a secondary
  • It lasts three years, and the course of study is
    similar to la primaríabasic courses, with a few

La secundaría, cont.
  • http//

La secundaría, cont.
  • There are also vocational schools, where one can
    study for their career instead of basic courses.
    These schools are called escuelas técnicas.
  • Few schools offer athletics.
  • All students wear uniforms.

La preparatoría, cont.
  • La preparatoría is equivalent to our high school
    and comes after la secundaría.
  • Students can pursue mid-level education
    (bachillerato, or diploma) which prepares them
    for college, or advanced training technical

La preparatoría, cont.
  • There are private and public preparatorías.
  • There are usually two schedules a morning option
    and an evening one.
  • Often, the universities maintain their own
    preparatorías where once students finish la prepa
    move on to their university.

La preparatoría
  • Many students must take exams to enter a
  • The better the school, the harder it is to get
  • Some private schools do offer scholarships for
    those who show financial need.
  • A uniform is not always required.

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La prepa, cont.
  • Most preparatorías do have computers and the
  • A variety of courses are offered in la prepa.
  • Many schools have their own colors and school
    emblem, which correspond with those of their

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Higher education
  • There are three types of colleges universities,
    technical colleges, and escuela normal (teacher
    training institutes).

La Universidad
  • Universities have four-year programs where one
    can receive a licenciatura.
  • Both private and public universities exist, but
    many more are public.
  • Many similar areas of study that exist in the US
    are also offered at the universities.

La Universidad, cont.
  • Each state has at least one university the
    largest in the country is the UNAM, located in
    Mexico City.
  • More than 100,00 students attend the UNAM.
  • There are few dorms on university campuses. Many
    students rent apartments, live in boarding
    houses, or live at home.

La Universidad, cont.
  • An important requirement for most degrees is a
    year of social service, which is intended to pay
    back the public for the subsidy of public
    education as well as to raise the consciousness
    of young graduates about the issues of current
    importance in Mexico.

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Problems in Education
  • The high drop-out rates are due to the high
    number of families living in poverty.
  • It is more important for the children to work
    rather than to complete their education.
  • Other families cannot afford the uniforms to send
    their children to school.
  • This creates a cycle of misery because the poor
    remain uneducated.

Problems in Education, cont.
  • The quality of instruction in primarias and
    secundaras is poor and highly bureaucratic.
  • The whole nation follows a uniform program of
  • Many strongly oppose efforts to decentralize
    curriculum and retrain teachers would cost too
    much money.

Problems, cont.
  • There have been recent efforts to improve
    education. These include the decentralization
    of education by handing educational power over to
    the states revamping curricula in the basic
    skills area and improving teacher salaries.
  • The current system stifles creativity.
  • The government is unable to meet the needs of
    special education students. Only 10 of those
    who are special ed. were serviced.

Problems, cont.
  • Deficiencies can also be found in higher
    education, which include poor teachers salary
    limited research opportunities and inadequate
    facilities and curricula.
  • There is a growing need for an educated
    population. Due to a shortage of openings at
    colleges and universities, only the socially
    elite are allowed to go on to college. Others
    are forced to attend vocational and technical
    schools instead.

Problems, cont.
  • There is also inequality with the governments
    redistribution of money between colleges. Public
    universities are politically supported more than
    private. Many colleges are adequately staffed,
    while many are not. Most college faculty make a
    mere 5 an hour and must also work part time.
  • Most universities are highly politicized with
    those that are favored more by the govt.
    receiving more money.

Problems, cont.
  • Private universities are typically more teaching
    institutions, and not research. These
    universities have first-rate facilities, charge
    students what their education costs, and attract
    highly qualified faculty by paying respectable
    wages. However, only a minority of the
    population has access to such universities. They
    are viewed as elitists.

Problems, cont.
  • Many of the problems that exist in Mexico and
    Latin Americas education system are due to the
    socioeconomic structure.
  • Although there does not exist a caste system, it
    is nearly impossible for someone who is poor to
    become rich. Therefore, the poor get poorer, and
    the rich get richer.
  • In order to receive a good education, one must
    have money. Without money, the cycle continues.