Further, Latinos have considerably different histories, cultural approaches and contemporary social problems (Suarez-Orozco & Paez, 2008).
“Latinos are not a simple racial or ethnic group, but they are the product of a distinctive civil society” (Hayes-Bautista, 2005, p.5). Latinos are generally described by governmental policy models as: a racial group, a language group, a group with strong affilitation to their traditional culture, a dysfunctional minority group, or an urban underclass. However, the core element of Latinos is the continued presence of a Latino civil society, which provides Latino children with their initial experiences in the social world, teaches them right and wrong, duty, early concepts of civic responsibility, and first notions of personal identity.
There is a great heterogeneity among the different groups of Latinos, their experiences depending on various factors such as “race, color, gender, socio-economic status, language, immigrant status, and mode of incorporation into the United States” (Suarez-Orozco & Paez, 2008, p.4). The social practices and cultural models of multiculturalism contribute to the experiences, perceptions and the range of behaviors of both immigrant and native-born Latinos in ways unprecedented during earlier large-scale immigration. The racial and ethnic categorization of Latinos has high stakes political and economic implications such as civil rights, equal opportunities, and affirmative action.
Mainland Puerto Ricans and immigrant Dominicans indicate a high level of transnationalism, evident in the economic, political and cultural strategies adopted by diasporic people. They lead double lives with double loyalties, living alternately between their island and the mainland; remitting large sums of money to their homeland, continue to participate in political processes there, and periodically visit their homeland to maintain their social and cultural ties. Transnational behavior, and alternately