Now Is a Time to Learn From Hispanic Americans

Now Is a Time to Learn From Hispanic Americans

The “Hispanic paradox” could offer a model for civil society.


Opinion Columnist

June 27, 2020

Jessica Monje-Perez, center, of Centro Cultural de Washington County works with volunteers and other employees to prepare food boxes for migrant workers in Cornelius, Ore.Credit…Leah Nash for The New York Times

Scholars call it the “Hispanic Paradox”: Despite poverty and discrimination, Hispanic Americans live significantly longer than white or black Americans.

Hispanics in the United States endure discrimination, high poverty, lower rates of health insurance than both whites and blacks — yet they enjoy a life expectancy of ​81.8 years​, compared with 78.5 years for whites and 74.9 years for blacks.

The Hispanic community is resilient partially due to their “social capital” — bonds of family, home region or church.

Covid-19 is now challenging the Hispanic community’s resiliency. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ​reported​ this month that 33 percent of Americans testing positive for the coronavirus have been Hispanic, almost twice their ​18 percent​ share of the population.

In response to the pandemic, the Hispanic community has pulled together, relying heavily on one another to ease the community’s suffering. r-story-ad-2

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