another Hispanic group, contain their own conventions and statuses. The Puerto Ricans
living in the U.S. have a much better grasp of the English language than those living on the island (Axia
College). In the political arena, U.S. Puerto Ricans participate in community and electoral politics. During
the 1990’s, they had three participants in the U.S. House of Representatives, and elected officials on local
and state levels (Whalen, 2003). Puerto Rico is a part of U.S. territory, but the island has no U.S. voting
rights. Additionally, Puerto Ricans would like to govern their own affairs, but are limited at this time.
Despite the island’s grievances, Puerto Ricans in the U.S. have established social service organizations
for support, such as the Puerto Rican Forum in New York (Whalen, 2003). Furthermore, the people are
distinctive by a color gradient based on skin color, but Puerto Ricans are subject to judgment by race
(Axia College, 2006). While the economy in Puerto Rico is strong overall, it is poor compared to the U.S.
Therefore, many Puerto Ricans leave for the U.S., but still suffer a distinct poverty rate once here. On the
mainland (U.S.), the poverty rate was at 30.3% as of 1990, due to low education levels (Torres, 2002).
Including the poverty affliction, Puerto Ricans have also brought over their Catholic religious preferences
from the island. In addition, some incorporate Espirtismo and Santeria religious practices, believing
spirits can interact with the living world and do good or evil (Torres, 2002). At the foundations of these
beliefs and struggles is a close, extended familial base. Elderly family members are important in the