How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

CDC report: Latinas live longer

Photo by Seattle Municipal Archives/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Doctors with patient, Seattle, 1999

The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released its first-ever report on Hispanic life expectancy, and the long-life winners are Latinas, whose life expectancy tops the list at 83.1 years.

The CDC's National Center for Health Statistics issued its "United States Life Tables by Hispanic Origin" today, with the tables based on 2006 death rate data.

Among the groups compared in the report, Hispanic females have the highest life expectancy at birth (83.1 years), followed by non-Hispanic white females (80.4 years), Hispanic males (77.9 years), non-Hispanic black females (76.2 years), non-Hispanic white males (75.6 years), and non-Hispanic black males (69.2 years).

Latinos live longer in general: According to the report, life expectancy at birth for the total population in 2006 was 77.7 years; 80.6 years for the Hispanic population, 78.1 years for the non-Hispanic white population, and 72.9 years for the non-Hispanic black population.

Read More...

In the news this morning: Fox in Spanish, Whitman in Mandarin, County supervisors continue immigration program, more

Harold Meyerson - Latino voters may make the difference for California Democrats on Election Day - The Washington Post In 2008, Latinos were 21 percent of California voters -- a six-point increase over their share in the 2006 midterms.

Fox News launches Latino site FoxNewsLatino.com - NYPOST.com The network has debuted FoxNewsLatino.com,  a bilingual site launched weeks before the midterm elections.

PolitiFact | Spanish language ad claims Sen. Barbara Boxer voted against immigration reform PolitiFact clarifies, gets into history behind ad running on Spanish language TV in several large California markets.

Meg Whitman: Now available in Mandarin and Cantonese| PolitiCal | Los Angeles Times Whitman has expanded her multilingual advertising beyond Spanish to include Mandarin and Cantonese, with her campaign announcing the two new spots yesterday.

Read More...

OC in color: The ethnicity map

Art by Eric Fischer/Flickr (Creative Commons)

A color-coded ethnicity map of Orange County, based on census data

Last month I posted a color-coded map of the Los Angeles area based on race and ethnicity, the work of artist Eric Fischer, who has created a series of similar maps of U.S. cities based on 2000 Census data.

This map of Orange County, also by Fischer, illustrates the ethnic makeup of the county thus, per an explanation by Fischer on his Flickr page:

I was astounded by Bill Rankin’s map of Chicago’s racial and ethnic divides and wanted to see what other cities looked like mapped the same way. To match his map, Red is White, Blue is Black, Green is Asian, Orange is Hispanic, Gray is Other, and each dot is 25 people.

Specific cities within Orange County can be identified by dragging the cursor over the map.

The map is especially interesting in light of how the county's demographic changes have become a factor in the race for the 47th Congressional District, which encompasses the cities of cities of Garden Grove and Santa Ana and takes in parts of Fullerton and Anaheim. The changing face of Orange County had a role in the 1996 defeat of incumbent Bob Dornan, a Republican, by Loretta Sanchez, a Latina and a Democrat. Now Van Tran, a Vietnamese-American and a Republican, is vying for Sanchez's seat.

Read More...

Quote of the moment: On the ascent of the Chilean miners

"May God help all of them to get out. The Atacama desert is unforgiving. Some 60 years ago, God saved my own life when my truck rolled over in the proximity of that mine. I barely got to Copiapo, drenched in black gasoil, but uninjured.

"Speaking of the miners, they should get an agent to manage their affairs collectively. They also need a book writer and a movie director. And a good rest. May God bless them!"

- a comment posted by "xxl maroc" on Latina blogger Fausta's Blog


Media offers are reportedly already coming as the trapped miners begin their hopeful ascent after two months underground.

In Los Angeles, where a small Chilean-American community is scattered around town, some people have dropped into the Rincon Chileno restaurant on Melrose to cheer the rescue on in unison. (And so has the media, according to restaurant staff.)

Read More...

American snapshots: The cultural club

Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

The 19th-century revolutionary and national hero José Martí, spotted on the back of a t-shirt

Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

The 19th-century revolutionary and national hero José Martí, spotted on the back of a t-shirt

Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

The 19th-century revolutionary and national hero José Martí, spotted on the back of a t-shirt

Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

The 19th-century revolutionary and national hero José Martí, spotted on the back of a t-shirt

Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

The 19th-century revolutionary and national hero José Martí, spotted on the back of a t-shirt


Yesterday I posted a single photo from a weekend verbena - a big party, essentially - at the Sociedad José Martí, a Cuban cultural club in Hawthorne founded by then-new immigrants more than 40 years ago.

Immigrant cultural clubs and mutual aid societies are as old as immigration to the United States itself, with each group of newcomers reaching out to their countrymen, finding ways to keep traditions alive, and, depending on the type of association or club, raising money to help new arrivals, those left back home (including elaborate hometown infrastructure projects) or both.

Just in Southern California there are are Mexican clubs, Salvadoran clubs, Cuban clubs, Russian clubs, Armenian clubs, Chinese clubs, Vietnamese clubs - the list is too long to mention all.

The immigrant cultural club tradition was a part of my childhood. While L.A. is no Miami, Cuban cultural clubs abound here, from La Cofradia in South Gate to the Club Cultural Cubano in Monterey Park. Attending the dances and picnics put on by these and other clubs was a way for my first-generation parents to connect with people they could relate to, all of them seeking familiarity in an unfamiliar place.

Read More...