Pew Research Center study that was conducted in 2012 in 50 states and the District of Columbia, people of Hispanic descent comprise the nation’s largest ethnic minority, numbering 50.7 million, out of which 65% are of Mexican origin, 9% are Puerto Rican and 3.7% Cuban (Pew Hispanic Center, 2012). This paper’s focus is to outline these top three Hispanic groups’ presence in the United States by means of enlisting two cases of public impact from each.

Two are Salma Hayek and Cesar Chavez. The former may be regarded as widely acknowledged for her contribution to contemporary culture in the entertainment industry, as an acclaimed actor, producer and director of motion pictures. In addition, she is a vocal activist against domestic violence and immigrant discrimination (Townsquare Staff, 2012). Cesar Chavez was an outstanding civil rights activist and an icon for migrant labor union, his most important contribution being materialized in the co-founding of the United Farm Workers of America in 1962. What is more, his whole life was a long sequence of campaigns in the name of social justice equal to those of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. And Mahatma Gandhi.

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At present, Chavez is generally recognized as a political leader who managed to connect labor, civil rights and environmentalism, and who thereby formed the basis of the Environmental Justice movement, which fights against the noxious chemical overuse in agriculture that negatively impacts the lives of United States citizens (Kahn, 2007).

Some of the most prominent figures of our times pertaining to Puerto Rican descent are Helen Rodriguez-Trias and Marco Antonio Muniz. Doctor Rodriguez-Trias was a Pediatrics M.D., an educator and a women’s rights activist; she is celebrated as the first Latin president of the American Public Health Association, the Association having instated am annual award in her name following her death in 2001 (Wilcox, 2002). Additionally, Rodriguez-Trias struggled to change the precarious health services granted to disadvantaged women and children from across the world. Marco Antonio Muniz is largely known by his pseudonym Marc Anthony, a consecrated producer and salsa artist who sold more than 12 million records worldwide and was awarded in year 2009 with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Lifetime Achievement Award (Anthony, 2013).

An exponential pair of outstanding contemporary artists originating from Cuba is Andres Arturo Garcia Menendez and Gloria Maria Milagrosa Fajardo Garcia de Estefan. The former is commonly regarded as the most notable Cuban-American actor of his generation (Lipworth, 2005) for his talented performance in successful Hollywood motion pictures starting with the late 1980s. Gloria Estefan is yet another strong example of crossover accomplishment, as a singer-songwriter and film actor, her success amounting to around 100 million records sold worldwide. Having migrated from Cuba as a girl with her family, she had a humble start in life and presently owns 7 Grammy Awards, which stands for a solid equivalent of the accomplished American Dream (Thomas, 1998).

Overall, it is clearly visible that Mexican-Americans, Puerto Rican Americans and Cuban Americans form a large part of the American people and have been responsible for manifold contributions to culture and society, both globally and on a national level. A Hispanic origin denotes American citizens’ self-described ancestry or place of birth that traces back to a South American country, but it may not be entirely correct to categorize people according to the factor of birth. Therefore, it can be asserted that North America represents a thriving environment, whose diversity is responsible for intense cultural and social advancement, and all its people are the base of historical progress.


Kahn, R. (2007). “Cesar Chavez.” In Encyclopedia of Environment & Society. Los Angeles: Sage Publications.

Lipworth, Elaine. “Film: Untouchable in Exile; Andy Garcia Is One of Hollywood’s Aristocracy. But He Tells ELAINE LIPWORTH That Cuba Is Still His Home and His Inspiration.” (2005, July 29). The Independent, pp. 8-9.

Marc Anthony. (2013). The Biography Channel website. Retrieved 10:04, May 24, 2013, from www.biography..

Pew Hispanic Center (2012). “The 10 Largest Hispanic Origin Groups: Characteristics, Rankings, Top Counties.” Retrieved from www.pewhispanic., May21].

Thomas, David. “Her Family Fled Penniless When Her Dad Was Jailed by the Communists. But Gloria Estefan Escaped Poverty and Is Now Worth [Pounds Sterling] 125 Million.” (1998, May 29). Daily Mail (London), p. 42.

Townsquare Staff. (2012). “10 Famous Mexican-Americans to Help You Celebrate Cinco de Mayo.” In TSM Interactive (April 20). Available: www.tsminteractive. on 2013, May 21].

Wilcox, Joyce. (2002) “The face of women’s health: Dr. Helen Rodriguez-Trias.” American Journal of Public Health, pp. 566 — 569.