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Regarding Mestizaje* in Latin America

Although this was not always the case in the early life of Spanish colonies (New Spain), the term Criollo has come to indicate those descendants of white Spaniards in these colonies. This meant especially that these people did not mix with other groups. They were unmixed people of Spanish or European ancestry both from the mother and father. The Spanish colonizers, who were known as Penisulars, shared some power with the criollos. Thus, many of the second- or third-generation criollos became wealthy from their inheritances or from managing the mines, ranches, or haciendas. However, they wanted more power. So, they became leaders of the wars of independence that took place in the Spanish colonies during the XIX Century. Mestizos/as were classified as born from a Spanish father (Peninsular or Criollo) and an Indian mother. Originally, the mestizo/a was associated with illegitimacy because of the way Indian women were treated during the conquest and colonization. The Mestizo population was recognized more officially after the second half of the 17th century. Later in the XX Century, it was the mestizos who lead revolutions against the Criollos who held all power. A A good example of this is the Mexican Revolution. Thus, many Latin American Nation-States proudly classify themselves as Mestizo Nations. However, there is an unconscious bias or hate toward Indigenous (Indian) people. You learned about Malintzin or Malinche and how she is so hated even now. She is a very good example of this internal conflict in the identity of Mestizos/as or Ladinos/as as in some nations, like Guatemala, they are known. While, the Spanish side is recognized and admired, the Indigenous side is hated and treated as inferior. You learned that Indigenous (Indians) people continue to be treated as inferior and they have organized social movements to defend their rights, e.g., the current Mayan Movement in Guatemala.


**Do you think that these facts indicate that Mestizos/as or Ladinos/as have not recovered from the trauma of the Spanish conquest and colonization? Why yes/no?

**Do you think that these facts indicate that Latin American Nations have not recovered from the trauma of the Spanish conquest and colonization? Why yes/no? How can this this trauma be cured?

**It is argued that in order to recover from this trauma Latin American nations and mestizos/as in particular must recognize and learn to appreciate their Indigenous inheritance. It is also argued that Mestizos/as or Ladino/as must also recognize the equal rights of Indigenous people as well. What is your opinion?

*Mestizaje was/is known as the process of mixing ancestries in the union of people of different racial classifications.