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Natasha Jacinto

1. The Hispanic paradox means to say there is a significant amount of Hispanics who live longer than white or black Americans. I believe researchers have termed it a “paradox” because Hispanics are usually thought to eat unhealthy amounts of sodium and fatty foods. Also, Hispanics are mostly found in impoverished areas due to their background of immigrating from South America to North America. When we think of an impoverished area we tend to not think about long healthy lives. Kristof mentions something surprising about Hispanic American communities, “Yet what struck me… was how the community pulled together to ease the suffering.” By this he refers to how the community memb3ers, even though they are suffering themselves, they still find time to give back with what they can. The article mentions a woman names Francis who is 50 years old and has had to move in with her daughter and son-in-law. Even though she is also a person in need, “she takes time to volunteer by driving boxes of food from a catholic church to needy families.”
2. One of the factors which researchers have pointed to in explaining why Latinx populations are more resilient, as researcher Mark Hugo Lopez believes, is their sense of family ties. In the Latino culture families are tightly bound and they would move mountains for their own blood. Mark Hugo Lopez claims, “There’s a lot of support when facing challenges… that’s how Latinos help each other.” Another reason for resilience in Latinos is their “faith and church connections.” It’s no surprise that being close to a higher power/order helps us get through challenging times. A Harvard study has found “daily prayer/meditation/church attendance coincides with better health and greater life satisfaction.” It is fairly well known that Lations are quite spiritual humans which can be why they live longer than other races. From my personal experience I believe the Caribbean is heavily into family bonds and Spaniards are quite religious. I think this “social fabric” is powerful because if you don’t have people who are on your side, so to speak, then you lose sight of who you are truly. This can lead to depression, suicide, unhealthy thoughts, etc.
3. Kristof quotes Latino immigrants, Hispanic Americans, researchers. I think Kristof was very smart in his choice of who he quotes because it gives us a look into the different generations of Latinos. They all seem to hold the same values, strong family/community connections. A good use of a quotation sandwich is when Kristof said this: She acknowledged that there must be hungry children but added: “If people knew kids were hungry, they would help. The community would step up.” This strongly reinforces his main argument as to why Hispanic Americans live longer due to their ability to care for others. This gives them longevity due to “better health and greater life satisfaction.”
4. When Kristof mentions a “paradox within the paradox” he is talking about the resiliency difference of first generation Latinos versus second, third and so on. It is clear by reading this article that first generation Latinos are extremely resilient and have more will to live, so to speak. My guess is they live longer because they know how hard life can be and how good/privileged their life is in the United States. On the other hand, if you’re born here you immediately have privilege that you don’t even know is a step up from other countries. If you don’t know how bad it could be then you only think “this is as bad as it can get.” This is where the American Dream comes from. To someone coming from South America, the American Dream is what Americans think of as “this is as bad as it can get.” South Americans believe that the lowest low of Americans could actually be their own highest high, “The American Dream.” I believe because of this truth then the average American’s (including second, third etc. Latin Americans) life expectancy is much shorter than a first generation Hispanic. To add on, the first generation Hispanic would be least likely to afford a good education due to the job opportunities available to (possibly) undocumented parents and also the lack of their parents knowledge about school in general. If it’s your first time in a country you probably aren’t aware of all the resources they offer or how they run things at a bureaucratic level. You learn these things as time passes and you assimilate to the culture. In the paper by Gonzalo Huertas he mentions, just like Kristof, that the Hispanic population is growing and assimilating to U.S. Americans. One difference that Gonzalo Huertas speaks about a lot is how entrepreneur-like the Hispanic population is becoming. They seem to be seeking these types of opportunities more than American born citizens.

Yohana Orellana

Nicholas Kristoff speaks on how regardless of the poverty, discrimination and hardships Hispanic Americans tend to “live significantly longer than white or black Americans.” He and many others wonder what it is that keeps these families/people strong to overcome the struggles and surpass the life length compared to other Americans. Kristoff’s point is well said and coming from a Hispanic family I can agree that for some reason, no matter what is going on, we’re still happy and stay united. Kristoff questioned what it is that keeps us going, and that does differ for everyone, some people anchor onto religion and faith, other people cling onto their job and their aspirations, while others just rely on their families. The secret to a happier longer life doesn’t have to do with what we have but what we hold dearest in moments of hardships. Kristoff also mentioned that there is a paradox within the paradox, being that the second generation tends to lose this and die earlier. However, what Kristoff doesn’t understand is that not everyone loses this anchor. Most people who do, are kids who sway and assimilate more into the American lifestyle and lose the authenticity that makes Hispanic Americans have a longer life. As a person, one goes through many things in life and tend to lose their “anchor”, and distance themselves from everything and everyone.

Jasmin Smith

After reading Nicholas Kristoff’s article on how regardless of poverty and discrimination, Hispanics tend to live longer then white and black people. Coming from a Hispanic female, I honestly had no idea Hispanics tend to live longer lives then others. I do agree with all of Nicholas’ points and coming from a Hispanic family I can relate my own life to the examples he gave. No matter what arguments or difficult times a Hispanic family goes through, we are always happy and support one another through it all. Love runs deep in Hispanic families and growing up in a Hispanic family my parents taught me from a young age how to respect and appreciate all my family members. Kristoff grew up near a large population of Hispanics and he questioned to himself on how the Hispanic culture does it even through the difficult times. It all just depends on the person and how they cope with stress and what they work hard for in life. I agree with one of the blogs posted by Yohana under this article. She said, “The secret to a happier longer life doesn’t have to do with what we have but what we hold dearest in moments of hardships.” She could’ve have said that any better. One thing about Hispanics is that they’re going to get through any situation they may have to face, no matter how difficult it may be. And whatever matters the most to them will be right there by their side. Hispanics never complain about any life conditions they must live through as long as it gets the job done, they’ll be grateful at the end of the day. Kristoff went on and explained that researchers have found another paradox within the paradox which basically means something (such as a situation) that is made up of two opposite things and that seems impossible but is possible. He stated that First-generation Latino immigrants tend to live longest, and their children — while better educated and earning more money — die earlier. Honestly this all just depends on how the child is raised. If a kid is raised more into the American lifestyle and lose most of their Hispanic authenticity, then yeah, maybe there is a possibility they may die at an earlier age then their parents did but not all kids lose their Hispanic authenticity, especially due to how important it is to be bilingual in American. Most Hispanic parents try to teach their children Spanish at an early age and about religion so they can live a similar but better lifestyle then they did. Hispanic parents who move to America come looking for a better life for their children to live and grow up in. My parents moved from the Dominican Republic for me. They wanted me to grow up with a better lifestyle then they had and they knew I had more opportunities here growing up.

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