Office of Inclusive Excellence and Sustainability

Latinx Solidarity with Indigenous Communities

September 3, 2023

By Isabella García

Labels play a huge part in bringing a community together. They give people a way to identify themselves in society and become connected with others just like them. Yet for the Latinx community, there has always been a struggle to find the right term to identify ourselves. Most use the terms Latinx or Hispanic, but It’s still a touchy topic of discussion amongst Latinos. Although this is a complicated experience shared amongst many within the Latinx community, it can get even more complicated for those amongst the indigenous communities throughout Latin America. 

As we know, when the Spanish conquered Latin America they forced many indigenous communities to adopt Spanish traditions. Over the years indigenous families have tried to keep their traditions alive but they are still lumped into broad categories like Latinx, Hispanic, and Mestizo. This makes things confusing for many when trying to figure out their identity. Many had to hide behind certain labels like Mestizo to protect themselves from discrimination within society. Making them choose a label that isn’t entirely accurate isn’t fair and creates a disconnect between them and their culture, especially for the younger generations. 

The Latinx community should embrace the indigenous people within the community by giving them the opportunity to label themselves as indigenous. To empower the indigenous community, Latinxs could try to learn or maybe even re-identify with indigenous culture. This could create shocking opportunities for growth and redefinition for the community.

Isabella Garcia is from Los Angeles, California and is currently a second-year Environmental Science major.