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The Power of Latino Leadership by Juana Bordas

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CHAPTER 1Ancient Roots and Mestizo Ancestry

MOST PEOPLE TODAY ARE genetically mixed. Our blood has intertwined through ongoing migrations—our genetic streams run together from unknown sources. The difference for Latinos is that the fusion of races, nationalities, and cultures was so pervasive that it spread across our entire hemisphere, producing a people traditionally known in Central and South America as Mestizos, the offspring of the indigenous people and Europeans, primarily the Spanish.

The mestizaje, as the process was termed, is not a commonly embraced concept by Latinos in the United States. There are advantages, however, to including it as part of the complex Latino identity. What is important to note is that the Mestizo experience is ...

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