Second- and Third-Generation Changing the Face of Hispanic-American Traditions

Roughly 50 million people living in America are Hispanic, many of which have migrated from Mexico to seek a better life. When immigration rates were at their highest, the nation’s largest Spanish-speaking congregations began to prosper, and there are now many second- and third-generation Hispanics born from their immigrant parents, who automatically gain U.S. citizenship. According to The Huffington Post, national census information showed that native-born Hispanics account for roughly two-thirds of the population.

The Pew Hispanic Center, a study based on statistics in the United States and Mexico, found that net migration from Mexico to the U.S. has fallen to zero between 2005 and 2010. Because of the housing market crash, which decreased the amount of construction jobs that many immigrant Mexicans obtained, more individuals were returning back to their country and others weren’t making the trek at all.

According to Real Clear Politics, American migration, internal and immigration patterns have typically lasted one or two generations. A research report found that there has been a great decline in U.S. birthrates among Mexican-born women. There were approximately 455,000 births in 2007 and only 346,000 in 2010. As there are fewer Mexican-born individuals traveling to America, many Spanish traditions, like Spanish-speaking churches, may fade.

Across the county, there are thousands of Spanish-only churches, but as the Millennial generation – who are typically less religious and prefer English to Spanish – grows there are more churches that serve dual-languages to attract more individuals. Vanessa Pardo, 19, told The Huffington Post that she has always followed her parents to church, but she is now searching for something else.

“It was never a faith of my own, it was ‘oh, my parents’ religion’ or ‘my family faith’ and I never saw the personal connection between me and God,” Pardo said. “I told them I wanted to go, but I told them I wanted to go in my own tongue and culture. Not theirs.”