Today Chicago boosts the 5th largest Latino population in the US ("Hispanic Population in Select U.S. Metropolitan Areas, 2011"). The Latino population in Chicago is mostly made up of Mexicans and Puerto Ricans who live in barrios spread out across the city. And, as historian Felix M. Padilla writes, these immigrants have created an entirely new “ethnic-conscious identity and behavior, distinct and separate from the individual ethnic identity of Mexican Americans [and] Puerto Ricans…” thanks to a variety of “internal and external factors and conditions,” unique to the Chicago Urban experience (1). Externally, he emphasizes, the struggle of integration that Latinos faced in Chicago (6). While internal factors focused on the struggle of identity and having to adapt and do away with certain cultural practices to settle in Chicago (8). Of course this is not to say that Puerto Rican Chicagoans and Mexican Chicagoans have developed the same Latino-Chicago identity. Rather thanks to different political influences, historical events, and geographical locations, these two distinct immigrant groups have carved out their own space and culture in The Windy City.
- Padilla, Felix M. Latino Ethnic Consciousness: The Case of Mexican Americans and Puerto Ricans in Chicago. Notre Dame, IN: U of Notre Dame, 1985. Print.
- "Chicago." Wiki Travel: The Free Travel Guide. Media Wiki, 15 Feb. 2016. Web. 22 Feb. 2016. <http://wikitravel.org/en/Chicago>.
- Paral, Rob. "Chicago's Immigrants Break Old Patterns." Immigration Policy Institute. 01 Sept. 2003. Web. 22 Feb. 2016. <http://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/chicagos-immigrants-break-old-patterns>.
- "Hispanic Population in Select U.S. Metropolitan Areas, 2011." Pew Research Centers. Pew Research Center, 2013. Web. 15 Mar. 2016.