Very interesting… there’s one part in the article which claims that many Asian Latino immigrants in USA identify as “Asian” and not as “Latino” on census surveys. What about East-Indian Latinos? Do they identify as “Asian/Pacific Islander” or “East Indian”? Sometimes, I’ve seen on surveys and census papers that seperate “East Indian” from “Asian/Pacific Islander.”
Asian Latin Americans are Latin Americans of East Asian, Southeast Asian or South Asian descent. Asian Latin Americans have a centuries-long history in the region, starting with Filipinos in the 16th century. The heyday of Asian immigration occurred in the 19th and 20th centuries, however. There are currently more than four million Asian Latin Americans, nearly 1% of Latin America’s population. Chinese and Japanese are the group’s largest ancestries; other major ones include Filipinos, Koreans, and Indians. Brazilis home to the largest population of Asian Latin Americans, at some 2.1 million. The highest ratio of any country in the region is 5%, in Peru. There has been notable emigration from these communities in recent decades, so that there are now hundreds of thousands of people of Asian Latin American origin in both Japan and the United States.
The first Asian Latin Americans were Filipinos who made their way to Latin America (particularly Mexico) in the 16th century, as sailors, crews, prisoners, slaves, adventurers and soldiers during the Spanish colonial period of the Philippines. For two and a half centuries (between 1565 and 1815) many Filipinos sailed on the Manila-Acapulco Galleons, assisting in the Spanish Empire’s monopoly in trade. Some of these sailors never returned to the Philippines, and many of their descendants can be found in small communities around Baja California, Sonora, Mexico City, and others.
In the 19th century, thousands of Indian labourers of Tamil descent from the Indian French colonial settlements of Madras, Pondichéry, Chandernagor and Karikal were brought to French Guiana, Guadeloupe & Martinique to work in plantations.
Most Chinese-Latin Americans descended from the Coolie slave trade, and most are found in the Caribbean, especially in Cuba and Peru. They are also closely related to Afro-Asian people in Latin America.
Most Asians, however, arrived in the 19th and 20th century as contract workers or economic migrants. Today, the overwhelming majority of Asian Latin Americans are of Chinese, Japanese, or Korean descent. Japanese migration mostly came to a halt after World War II (with the exception of Japanese settlement in the Dominican Republic), while Korean migration mostly came to an end by the 1980s (though it still continues in Guatemala) and Chinese migration remains ongoing in a number of countries.
Settlement of war refugees has been extremely minor: a few dozen ex-North Korean soldiers went to Argentina and Chile after the Korean War, and some Hmong went to French Guiana after the Vietnam War.
check out the statistics for Indians in Latin America (PDF).
Asian Latinos are like the coolest thing ‘cause no one knows they exist!! But there are so many Asian folks in South American countries and in America!
One of my Mexican friends who lived in Mexico for a time told me she was pretty close friends with a Chinese girl born and raised in Mexico, fluent in Spanish and identified with the Mexican culture. Apparently, there are huge communities of Asians in central and South America. :D