During the early 16th century, Spain and Portugal began to colonize the Western Hemisphere of what is today North & South America. In order to cultivate the land for agricultural production & commerce, the colonizers began to enslave the conquered the Ameri-Indians and use them for labor. However, this proved inefficient because the Ameri-Indians were not accustomed to being under the hot sun and enduring such harsh physical labor so colonizers began bringing slaves from Africa to improve agricultural business.
A large majority of Africans were shipped to Brazil, the Caribbean such as Puerto Rico and Cuba and near the coast of Central and South America. With these 3 ethnic groups now permanently established in the “New World” the people began to intermingle within the colonial society, creating groups and subgroups within a caste system, a system that describes each particular ethnic group according to their social status in society. Hispanics began to identify themselves according to their rich tradition, culture, history, and food, all originating from 3 distinct societies merging together.
The Three Major Groups in Hispanic Society
Iberian: Those originating from Spain & Portugal.
Ameri-Indian: Those originating from Native Americans such as the Tainos, Aztecs, and Mayans.
Africans: Those originating from Africa. Ethnic subgroups emerged from intermingling:
When marketing to a particular Hispanic ethnic group you must also study the geography in relation to which ethnic population resides according from the largest to the smallest number of groups within a local area. Hispanics tend to gather around major urban areas. This allow Hispanics to maintain their language and culture because they’re in close proximity to other individuals that share ethnic characteristics.
Hispanics also group themselves according to their country of origin. For example, Mexicans live in the Southwest such as Texas, Cubans tend to reside in Florida and Puerto Ricans and Dominicans largely populate Puerto Rico.
I managed to find an example of a illustration of a typical caste system in early Spanish colonial times. The caste system in a way acts like a status report for the Spanish monarchy on how the colonies are doing.
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