Hispanic Heritage Month: Adobo, sazón, and sofrito: We are here. | Opinion

Hispanic Heritage Month: Adobo, sazón, and sofrito: We are here. | Opinion

By Salvador Mena

The term “the Browning of America,” as described by notable demographer William Frey captures the rapid demographic shifts in the United States.

Estimates indicate that before 2050 we will be a majority-minority country. This rapid change in the racial and ethnic makeup of the country has been fueled in part by immigration and birth rates in the population of people who identify as Latina/o/x, Hispanic, and by country of origin (e.g., Salvadorian, Dominican, etc.)

This unquestionable truth is at the root of the fear that many have today about the “flavor” of the country changing from wholesome apple pie and plain salt and pepper to churros and flan and everyday Latinx seasoning products adobo, seasoningand sofrito.

Between those whose familial background dates to when California and Colorado were part of Mexico, and those who just arrived, Latinx communities have flourished in different parts of the country for years.

People of Puerto Rican and Mexican descent have profoundly influenced the cultures of New York City and Los Angeles. There are emerging Latinx communities in places like North Dakota and Louisiana, where opportunities for work and new beginnings attract those just arriving and those looking to new locations for more prosperous options.

So is the story of my family who came to the United States for a better future. While life hasn’t always been easy for them, I would not be where I am today if it weren’t for their sacrifices and the belief that I would have better opportunities here.

This story is a common one and will continue to be written as the Latinx population grows in size, diversity, and political complexity. Latinx History Month allows us to reflect on the meaningful contributions made by a diaspora of people who embody different mixes of African, Asiatic, European, and Indigenous blood and every intersectional identity imaginable.

Salvador Mena is Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. He hails from the Bronx, New York, where his Dominican York and Nuyorican roots greatly influenced his Latinx identity.

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This News is Published from Google Alert – Hispanic Heritage Month.

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