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Economic freedom: Its impact on the lives of Latinos in the US

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I was wasting some time on Twitter this morning(Thursday, August 1st), looking for a way to avoid starting work on the article I had originally planned to write for this week(curse you, writer’s block!) which was due the following day when I came across a tweet which got me thinking.

How has the economic freedom in the U.S., with all the good and bad attached to that freedom, impacted the Latino community in this country?  My first thought as a writer, who like all writers likes the sight of his own words filling a page, was to plow into the Census data and the unemployment figures to produce a statistical picture of Latinos success and/or lack of it.  Then to use those figures to talk about how you as readers should feel about the freedom or lack of it would be a waste.

The true measure of the economic freedom or opportunity is not to be found in dry statistical analysis but in the stories and experiences of everyday people in ordinary neighborhoods across the country—from the rocky coast of Maine to the shores of the Pacific in California and beyond to Hawaii and Alaska, from the waters of Puget Sound in Washington state to the warm waters of Florida’s Gulf Coast and beyond to Puerto Rico.

The true measure of economic freedom and opportunity is in the stories of those who cross the arid deserts of Northern Mexico and Arizona and New Mexico and cross the Rio Grande in Texas.  The stories of those who come to the United States despite the obstacles and dangers on both sides of the border to look for the American Dream—El Sueño Americano—which both former Mexican President Vincente Fox and former U.S. President George W. Bush agreed belonged not only to those living in the United States but the entire Western Hemisphere and, really, the World.   The idea that through hard work, a little luck and determination, a man or a woman can start off with little or nothing and create a comfortable life for themselves and their families.

So, dear readers of the Being Latino Online Magazine, comment on this story by sharing your stories of the American Dream—the good, the bad, the funny.



By Being Latino Contributor, Jeffery Cassity   Jeffery Cassity is a mostly socially-liberal, fiscally-conservative Anglo male who was deeply involved in his local Hispanic community as the widower of a 1st generation Mexican-American woman and his active membership in the local Council of the League of Latin American Citizens(LULAC) prior to his move in May 2013 from Kenosha, Wisconsin to Sacramento, California. Since moving to Sacramento, Jeff has been busy working at his new job with a local insurance agent and working hard to ramp up a writing career.  He is looking forward to becoming involved with the local Sacramento community and LULAC Councils. Jeff writes weekly for the Being Latino Online Magazine and has started writing recently for the Sacramento Press  website.  His articles have also appeared in the El Conquistador newspaper(Milwaukee, Wisconsin).

About Adriana Villavicencio

Dr. Adriana Villavicencio is the youngest child of Ecuadorian immigrants. She has moved 29 times in her life, taking her on a journey from California to Bangalore, India, and New York City, where she recently earned a Ph.D. in Education Leadership and works as a Research Associate at New York University. An avid traveler, Adriana has collected experiences in four different continents and 16 different countries. But as a former high school English teacher, some of her fondest memories are those of her brilliant and brilliantly funny students in Brooklyn and Oakland. Adriana has contributed to several publications including the Daily News and, and is a managing editor for the Journal of Equity in Education. She earned a B.A. in English and an M.A. in English Education at Columbia University, and currently serves on the board of Columbia’s Latino Alumni Association (LAACU). She enjoys scary movies with red vines, Sauvignon Blanc, and her Maltese dog, Napoleon.

To learn more about Adriana’s education consulting company, please visit

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.

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