Hispanic Influences

There has been a significant growth in the United States from the Hispanic culture since the first decade of the 21st century. The Hispanic culture has influenced the film and music industry, art, business, and even politics. The minority group represents 15.8% of the population, and is the largest in the United States, about forty-eight million people. The Hispanic population is significant more so in New Mexico, Florida, Texas, California, and Nevada.
Music and film are the two sectors that have been mostly altered by the culture. Artists and actors such as Marc Anthony, Jennifer Lopez, and Penelope Cruz have become very popular in America. Emilio Estefan, Enrique Iglesias, Salma Hayek, Eva Longoria, George Lopez are also big names in the U.S. There are many more also. The number of Spanish television has also been growing. Radio stations, magazines, and newspapers have been directed towards the Hispanic market in America, which means that the minority group has a strong influence on the American political class. In federal politics, Alberto Gonzalez was the Attorney General of the U.S. under the Bush Administration. Ken Salazar and Mel Martinez hold seats in the U.S. Senate. Latin Americans have been and are still influencing this beautiful country. It’s nice to focus on the positive Hispanic influences this nation has gained, instead of Americans being solely focused on illegal immigration all of the time.

Works Cited

“Latin American Influences in the USA – Hispanic Culture.” DonQuijote. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 May 2015. .


Genocide of the Sahrawi People

Eleven former Moroccan officials will stand trial in connection with killing and torturing citizens in what was once the Spanish protectorate of Western Sahara. The men are being charged with genocide, a murderous reign which lasted from 1976 to 1991. On April 9th, Judge Pablo Ruz ruled that there was overwhelming evidence of malicious genocidal crimes against the Sahrawi people “during the period when the territory was annexed and controlled by Morocco.” (Gall) Spanish officials demanded that seven of the previous Moroccan bureaucratic and military officials be extradited back to Spain.
Evidence of torture, killings, bombings, and disappearances by the Moroccan police and military officials against the Sahrawi people, amounted to a methodical and generalized onslaught of the victims. In mid 1970’s, the Western Sahara was invaded and forcibly annexed by Morocco. The Moroccans fought an enduring battle against the Polisario Front, a pro-independent movement that succeeded the Movimiento para la Liberación del Sahara. Thousands of Sahrawis were forced into exile. Since the start of the 90’s, the United Nations has tried many times to come up with a resolution to end the conflict. However, failed bilateral talks and referendums have been tried in vain.
I wanted to write about this because for one, I like history; secondly human rights should not be an issue still. As a people of this earth, there has to be a better way to resolve issues rather than having conflicts. Murder, force, coercion and such, should not be promoted as a good thing, or be implemented to get what one wants. Unfortunately, many nations still do that, even our own. I suppose I’m speaking of world peace, as naïve as that may sound. It just seems to be an unreachable goal. We’ve been living in this world together for thousands of years already. One would think we would learn to deal with each other already.

Gall, Carlotta. “Log In – The New York Times.” The New York Times – Breaking News, World News & Multimedia. The New York Times, n.d. Web. 17 Apr. 2015. .

The Use of Social Media to Recruit Nuns

Spanish convents strive to remarket their approach to have women join religious orders. Convents are using social media to try to attract women who feel lost, or are looking for something missing in their lives. Dozens of convents use the website ‘buscoalgomas.com’ to try and recruit nuns. The website is hosted by Noemí Saiz, who spent some time becoming a nun until she found that it was not for her. Also, Facebook, WhatsApp, and other social network websites are being used to help strengthen the dwindling numbers. There were nearly seven thousand in 1966; now, there are less than two hundred fifty.
The prioress, Olga Maria, of the barefoot Carmelite convent in Valladolid, Spain, went to Rome to ask if a trial period could be incorporated for would-be nuns to see if the religious order is for them. Also, she advocated using social media to be able to try and attract youthful women. Since reaching out, the convent has had over 200,000 visits to its website, and social media has also taken a liking. There are almost double the amount of nuns then there were before with the average age of thirty-five.
I chose to write about this issue because I thought it was interesting. Also, it’s a different kind of story then what’s typically in the news.

Burgen, Stephen. “Spanish Convents Use Social Media to Recruit New Nuns | World News | The Guardian.” The Guardian. Guardian News, n.d. Web. 19 Mar. 2015. .

Lost Souls

Forty-three students from a teacher’s college in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero state, disappeared 26 Sept. 2014 traveling to Iguala to protest about the lack of funding their school was receiving. On the same day, the mayor and his wife, Jose Luis Abarca and Maria de los Angeles Pineda, had a charity event and did not want any negative distractions. The mayor asked police Chief Felipe Flores Velasquez to intercept the college students and to get rid of them. The students, mostly male in their early twenties, were handed over to three men believed to be part of the Guerreros Unidos gang. The three men admitted to killing a large number of people believed to be the students. The mayor and his wife have been arrested, while the former chief of police remains a fugitive.

The police had stopped the students twice along their route to Iguala. During the first altercation, three students were shot and killed, then forcibly taken to a police station the second time. The students were transported to a garbage dump, where they were handed over to the Guerreros Unidos gang. The gang members proceeded to ask the students questions about their involvement with other gangs. However, it’s evidently unclear that the students had any involvement with rival gangs. The students were killed, and their remains were burnt for at least fourteen hours. The next day, the three men in custody said they were ordered to break up the remains and get rid of the evidence. The remains were placed in garbage bags and tossed into the San Juan River. The three despicable (a complete understatement) suspects have been identified as Patricio Reyes Landa, Jhonatan Osorio Gomez, and Agustin Garcia Reyes. When asked how many people they killed, their reply was that their leaders told them more than forty.

I wrote about this story because I think it’s important that people know what kind of horrible things are still going on in this world. I heard about this story when it happened, but I did not know all of the details. I wanted to know more when this topic came up in class.

Castillo, Mariano. “Remains Could Be Those of 43 Missing Mexican Students – CNN.com.” Breaking News, U.S., World, Weather, Entertainment & Video News – CNN.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Mar. 2015. <http://www.cnn.com/2014/11/07/world/americas/mexico-missing-students/&gt;.

Spanish-American War

The Wilson-Gorman Tariff of 1894 is the spark that started the early stages of the Spanish-American War. The tariff put restrictions on sugar imports to the US. The tariff severely hurt the economy of Cuba, which had made a serious profit on the production and distribution of sugar. Nationalists became angry at the Spanish colonial regime and started to revolt. In reply, Spain had sent General Weyler to suppress the opposition after Arsenio Martinez Campos failed to ameliorate the situation. General Weyler was deemed the “butcher” after hundreds of thousands died in the concentration camps Weyler put them in.

President McKinley came into office in 1897. By that time, Weyler had left Cuba, but the country was still in a state of turmoil. McKinley sent a warship to Cuba to protect American interests, along with American citizens who were in Cuba that may have been in danger because of the ongoing conflict. On February 15, 1898, the USS Maine mysteriously exploded, killing two hundred sixty servicemen. Many believed the explosion was either created by a torpedo, or a Spanish mine. President McKinley declared war on Spain on April 25, 1898.

Cuba was not the only front the war was fought on. Puerto Rico, Guam, several Spanish colonial islands, and the Philippines also saw effects of war. By orders of the Secretary of the Navy, Theodore Roosevelt, Commodore Dewey attacked Manila harbor. Dewey had decimated the dilapidated Spanish fleet. In the end, with the efforts of the famous Rough Riders and other heroic units, the US won the war effort relatively easily.

From the beginning of the conflict, the US stated that it would have Cuba be an independent nation at the war’s end. The Teller Amendment was passed to prove to other nations that the US was not in the war for territorial gain of Cuba. The US made significant improvements in Cuba’s infrastructure and educational systems. However, prior to leaving Cuba in 1901, the Cubans were forced to write into their constitution the Platt Amendment, which gave the US control over the island of Guantanamo as a military base. The Philippines, Guam, and Puerto Rico all became US territories. The citizens of these nations were upset, because they thought they would be liberated as Cuba was. They also did not share the same rights as Americans did. The US used the islands as coaling stations. One could argue the statement that the US was in the war for concern over Cuba and not to gain land; however, in the end, the US did gain territories.

I chose to write about the Spanish-American war because I like history. I enjoy learning about the past and how things came about.

Works Cited

“SparkNotes: The Spanish American War (1898-1901): Summary.” SparkNotes: Today’s Most Popular Study Guides. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2015. <http://www.sparknotes.com/history/american/spanishamerican/summary.html&gt;.

Mexican Constitution Day

On the first Monday of every February, Mexicans commemorate Constitución Política de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos, or simply, Mexican Constitution Day. Since 1917, Mexicans have been celebrating this holiday all weekend before the actual day. During the Mexican Revolution, the constitution was created to help bring about social justice to its people. The constitution still governs the people today, even though it has been ameliorated many times. The Mexican Constitution is much like the Americans with promoting freedom of speech, religion, and petition, however; it is different in the way that it guarantees “Mexicans the right to a good job (Article 123), decent housing, and health protection and care.”

Much like Thanksgiving for Americans, schools are closed, along with government agencies, banks, and local businesses. There are citizens waiving around red, white, and green flags that represent the nations colors. Marching bands play music; people are wearing costumes and dancing with friends and family members. Traditional cuisine is also made for the celebration. For the last 98 years, Mexicans have been observing the Mexican Constitution Day. I can only imagine what kind of celebration will take place when 2017 rules around. I chose to write about this topic because I admire people who fight for and achieve their freedoms. It’s similar to our nation’s story.