Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Latin American Fact Sheet


July 11, 2012

Population
There are over 50 million people in the U.S. today of Hispanic origin. This is the single largest ethnic group in the country, surpassing African Americans. It represents approximately 16% of the total U.S. population. The number of Hispanics in the U.S. today is greater than the entire population of Canada. Over 52% of the 2010 foreign-born population in the U.S. is from Latin America. By 2020, the U.S. Hispanic population is projected to be 70 million, or 21 percent of the U.S. population, and by 2050, it is projected to reach 128 million, or 29% of the population. Hispanics accounted for over 40% of the country‘€™s population growth between 1990 and 2000, and will account for 60% of the US population growth between 2005 and 2050. While close to 70% of the Hispanic population is concentrated in six states (California, Texas, Florida, New York, Illinois, and Arizona), this share has been declining since 2000 as the number of Hispanics in other areas of the country has grown.

Language
Latinos in the US currently represent the fifth-largest Spanish-speaking community in the world, behind those of Mexico, Colombia, Spain and Argentina. In 1968, of Public High School students studying a foreign language, 37% studied French and 48% studied Spanish. In 2000, 19% studied French and 70% studied Spanish. In 1968, of students enrolled in US institutions of higher education 34% studied French and 32% studied Spanish. In 2002, 14% studied French and 53% studied Spanish. According to the Modern Language Association, since 1995 students enrolled in Spanish language courses at institutions of higher education have exceeded those enrolled in all other modern languages combined.

Business and Entrepreneurship
According to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce there are over 3 million Hispanic-owned businesses in the U.S., generating over $420 billion in annual gross receipts. In 2010 the US Census Bureau reported that Hispanic-Owned businesses increased at double the national rate. About one of every ten small businesses in the country is currently estimated to be Hispanic. Hispanics account for over 13% of the documented U.S. labor force and are expected to increase to 20% by 2030. According to the Selig Center, Hispanic purchasing power surpassed $900 billion in 2009 and is projected to reach $1.3 trillion by 2014.

Direct Foreign Investment
The U.S. is the largest investor in Latin America after the European Union, accounting for 18% of total inflows to the region in 2011, according to ECLAC. In contrast, despite its recent growth as a regional presence, China represented 9% of the total in 2010, almost the same amount of FDI originating within the region (10%). The rising importance of intra-regional investment reflects the importance of Latin American multinationals (known as Multilatinas or Translatinas) which have consolidated and expanded internationally (including in the US). Some notable examples are CEMEX, Companhia Vale do Rio Doce, Petroleos de Venezuela, and others. Latin America and the Caribbean accounted for 10% of 2010 investment flows worldwide.

Trade
Latin America, although not the largest, is among the fastest growing U.S. regional trade partners. Between 1990 and 1999, total U.S. merchandise trade (exports plus imports) with Latin America grew by 163% compared to 82% for Asia, 70% for Western Europe, 24% for Africa, and 93% for the world. Latin America is capturing a larger share of U.S. trade, expanding from 13.3% of total U.S. trade in 1990 to 18.0% in 1999, and 20% in 2010, although this growth has not been uniform across the region. In 2010, the United States exported merchandise to Latin America and the Caribbean worth $257 billion (22% of its world totals), with Mexico and Brazil being among the top ten US export markets. That year the United States imported merchandise from Latin America and the Caribbean worth $358 billion (18% of its world totals), with Mexico and Venezuela among the top ten exporters (and Brazil not far behind). This means the US bought over 40% of the region‘€™s 2010 exports.

Locally, in 2011, 33% of Louisiana‘€™s merchandise exports went to Latin America and the Caribbean. Mexico is one of the state’s principal export destinations accounting for 10% of all exports in 2011. Other important destinations in Latin America are Brazil and Chile (each 3%) and Guatemala and Colombia (each 2%). In 2011 Louisiana was ranked seventh in exports among all US states.

Energy
According to the US Energy Information Agency, two of the top five U.S. oil suppliers‘€“Canada, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Mexico, and Nigeria‘€“are in Latin America. Latin America supplies about 30% of U.S. total oil and petroleum imports (measured in annual barrels), almost doubling imports from the Persian Gulf (16%). Including Canada, imports from the Western Hemisphere represent over 75% of the US total.

Environment
More than forty percent of all tropical forest preserved on the planet is located in Brazil. These forests serve as the Earth‘€™s lungs, absorbing carbon dioxide in its atmosphere, producing oxygen, and attenuating global warming. At the same time, Latin American forests are among the vastest sources of biodiversity available in the planet. This biodiversity is essential for the preservation of the genetic integrity of our species. It is also a storehouse of potential medicines and could hold the cure for our most deadly chronic illnesses.

Latin American Fact Sheet

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Bate papo! Speak Portuguese!

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Join us for an informal conversation hour with members of BRASA. All levels welcome. No registration necessary – come and stay for a few minutes or the whole hour! For more information, please contact Megwen at portuguese@tulane.edu.

FRIDAY – April 2, 2021
1:00 PM
Special edition Bate-papo with BRASA! Jones Hall patio.

FRIDAY – April 9, 2021
3:00 PM
Bate-papo. Jones Hall patio.

FRIDAY – April 16, 2021
1:30 PM
Special edition Bate-papo with Rice University. https://tulane.zoom.us/j/7338920192

This event is sponsored by TULASO and the Stone Center for Latin American Studies. Admission is free. All levels welcome.

On/Off-Screen: The Other Histories of Cinema in Latin America

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On/Off Screen. The Other Histories of Cinema in Latin America / Las otras historias del cine en América Latina explores practices of film distribution, exhibition and cinemagoing in Latin America. Over the past decade, the receiving end of the film chain, including patterns of film distribution and exhibition and the experiences of cinemagoers, has received increasing scholarly attention. Although this turn has made inroads beyond Eurocentric, Anglo-American limits, there is still a need to highlight other important cinematographic regions, especially Latin America. The symposium brings together scholars working in/on this domain from Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Argentina, Ecuador, Cuba, and the US, etc to engage in conversations about film culture across the Western hemisphere.

More information can be found on the website, here.

Teaching and Understanding Women's Activism in the Face of Violence

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(Description via Vanderbilt CLAS)

Join Vanderbilt CLAS and the Stone Center for Latin American Studies at Tulane University for a teacher workshop about incorporating topics of social justice and gender equality in the curriculum. In 2019, Amalia Rubin and Parker Benedict joined forces to create She Stands Up, a project that aims to spark meaningful conversations in high school classrooms about the power of women’s activism in the face of violence. While the project’s lesson plans focus on social mobilization in Latin America, where reporting of violence against women has been steadily increasing in recent years, She Stands Up creators hope to inspire teachers and students alike to tackle relevant and difficult topics in the classroom. In this special workshop, Amalia and Parker will take us through the research behind the project, introduce us to their website (full of resources!), and lead us in an activity from one of their lesson plans. Current and aspiring high school educators are encouraged to attend, and all educators are welcome.

Data across the Disciplines: Notes from Field Research in Latin America

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This discussion will focus on how Latin Amercanist scholars use data in their research. Marcello Canuto (Tulane University) will present on the use of Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) and other geospatial methods in his work in Maya archaeology. In a discussion moderated by Claudia Brittenham (University of Chicago), we will then discuss benefits and challenges, helpful tools, and various approaches to implementing new technologies into field research. This event workshop is for students in any field who are thinking about the possible uses of spatial imaging and other types of technology-collected data in their own research.

Marcello A. Canuto is Director of the Middle American Research Institute and Professor of Anthropology at Tulane University. He has undertaken archaeological excavations in the Maya region, South America, India, north Africa, and the northeast US. His primary research interest in the Maya area has been on the integrative mechanisms that the ancient Maya used to build and maintain a socio-politically complex society throughout both the Preclassic and Classic periods. He now co-directs a project in the understudied Northwest Peten, Guatemala where he investigates the construction of social categories and the mechanisms by which complex socio-political organizations develop and were maintained.

Claudia Brittenham is Interim Director of the Center for Latin American Studies and Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Chicago. Her research focuses on the art of ancient Mesoamerica, with particular attention to the ways that the materiality of art and the politics of style contribute to our understanding of the ontology of images. Her current book project, Unseen Art: Vision and Memory in Ancient Mesoamerica, explores problems of visibility and the status of images in Mesoamerica. Ranging from carvings on the undersides of Aztec sculptures to Maya lintels, and buried Olmec offerings, it examines the distance between ancient experiences of works of art and the modern practice of museum display.

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Sponsored by the Roger Thayer Stone Center for Latin American Studies at Tulane University and the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Chicago, under the auspices of the Tinker Field Research Collaborative.

Download the pdf of the flyer here.

A Discussion of Obscuro Barroco: "Imaginaçoes de Carnaval"

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Join Drs. Ana López, João Luiz Vieira, Leslie Louise Marsh, and Catherine Benamou for a discussion of the documentary film Obscuro Barroco.

Obscuro Barroco is a documentary-fiction film about the dizzying heights of gender and metamorphosis in Rio de Janeiro. Following the path of iconic transgender figure Luana Muniz (1961-2017), the film explores the different quests for the self, through transvestism, carnival and political struggle. In turn, it asks questions about the desire for transformation of the body, both intimate and social.

The full film is available to watch here.

You can also watch the film, browse resources, and meet the panelists on the event webpage, here.
We encourage all attendees to watch the film prior to the event.

Special thanks to the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and the PORTulane community, the Department of Communication, and the Howard Tilton Memorial Library for co-sponsoring this project.

Kaqchikel/K'iche' Language Table: K'iche' Language Learning

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Join fellow students, teachers, and native speakers to practice your Kaqchikel language skills and deepen your understanding of Kaqchikel culture. This event is held on the last Thursday of each month for the duration of the Spring 2021 semester.

The April 29th session will focus on K’iche’ language learning with guest speaker Nela Petronila Tahay Tzay. It will be facilitated by Ignacio Carvajal.