From time to time it seems wise to review our raison d’être (razón de la existencia) – in other words, why Hispanic Globe?
Although the word “mission” is a bit overused these days, it seems appropriate to mention it because it focuses on our purpose. In short, our goal is to make Hispanic Globe a platform to inform you regarding Hispanic/Latino Culture, and in doing so, create awareness about that culture which has spread throughout the world.
First of all, what is culture? Well, from the Latin it’s colere (to grow or cultivate). So culture is something that grows but needs to be cultivated. There’s action involved.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines it thus:
The beliefs, customs, arts, etc., of a particular society, group, place, or time or
A particular society that has its own beliefs, ways of life, art, etc. or
A way of thinking, behaving, or working that exists in a place or organization (such as a business).
We want Hispanic Globe to be “the site” where people can find accurate and helpful information about the Hispanic world. Hispanic Globe offers an immersion into Hispanic/Latino culture with topics ranging from the cost of living, education, health care, food, entertainment, language, life style, music, shopping, festivals, and travel – sprinkled with personal interviews of people in their community.
Why the name “Hispanic Globe”?
Ever since the Romans colonized and brought their culture and technology to the Iberian Peninsula, “Hispania” or Iberia has been diverse in its culture and language. It has remained so to the present day – a virtual microcosm of Western and Near Eastern (Middle East) Civilizations.
The Romans identified things and peoples from this region as “Hispanicus.” For example, “gladius hispanicus,” was a description of a type of sword from “Hispania.” The Romans adopted it as their principal offensive weapon and made the spear just another part of their arsenal. Romans were keen to adapt things from other cultures and make them their own. “Gladius Hispanicus” was used for about two hundred years and later adapted into three additional types for the Roman legions.
Of course, prior to and after Roman civilization, there were myriad other peoples who settled the peninsula. Prior to the Romans, the Phoenicians and Greeks established themselves on coastal regions. After Roman conquest and settlement, came the Berber tribes from the “Maghreb” or North Africa in the 8th century which spread Islam and its civilization throughout Iberia.
This Islamic civilization lasted several hundred years up to the late 15th century, when the “Catholic Monarchs” drove them out, but their culture endures to this day reflected in the laws, education, architecture, technology, and the preservation of Greek philosophy and mathematics for the western world.
The “Catholic Monarchs” expanded this culture to the “New World” by commissioning Christopher Columbus, a Genoan, to discover new routes of trade and bring the “Holy Church” to the “heathen” masses. Portugal was also expanding its empire via routes to the East around the Horn of Africa. Some of its earliest settlements are in South Africa. For instance, today you can still see a replica of a Portuguese ship in Mossel Bay, where the Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias landed in 1488. It is the site of the modern-day Dias Museum Complex.
The history of “Hispania” clearly demonstrates itself through the impressive architecture of Celtic, Phoenician, Greek, Roman, Islamic, and Gothic periods. The past and present culture of “Hispania” is rich and diverse.
Hispanic Globe is dedicated to understanding the world of “Hispania” in its current organization, structure, and cultural influences of individual people who live and work in their communities. Its language and culture spans the entire world, and uniquely expresses itself through Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries, plus many other places around the globe. Of course, the United States is included here with a rising number of Spanish and Portuguese speakers who live, work, and raise their families.
According to the latest U. S. Census Bureau statistics, there are currently around 48 million Hispanics in the United States (U.S.A.) today which is almost 16% of the total population. Just to give you an idea of the growth of this segment of the population, in 1970 there were about 10 million Hispanics which made up about 5% of the total population. So basically in a span of just 40 years, the Hispanic population has grown almost five times that number. And the percentage of the total U. S. population has tripled. The current projections are about 103 million by 2050, which will be about 25% of the total U. S. population.
There is no rhyme or reason regarding which countries we explore or in which order we discuss them. As we explore Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries, we hope to discover something new each time or revisit something old with a different perspective.
We want to bring you stories of interest – of people, who express this culture and language in their everyday lives. They are the ones that bring it life. We will discuss, describe, and hopefully provide insight into how people live and work in their region. As a result, we hope this will encourage you to investigate it yourselves. It’s an adventure.
This year we’re introducing some new writers for our blog and our newsletter “Hispanicus.” Everyone has an opinion regarding the Hispanic Globe. Just like the tree in Guernica, it’s important for folks to express their ideas and relate their experience. We listen so we don’t miss something that we can use to improve our POV.