Latin America as hybrid

by Sofia

I frequently see Latin America as a hybrid of Old and New Worlds. Here are examples.

  • ancestry of the people; societies where populations are indigenous, afro, mestizo, criollo, and every combination possible of these
  • syncretism of Catholic and indigenous religions (e.g., la Virgen de Guadalupe, Dia de los Muertos)
  • liberation theology (the Christian message made Marxist to understand the conditions of oppression witnessed in the continents, as well as the base communities that develop as a grassroots response to these problems)
  • gauchos (mestizo outlaw cowboys drawing from both European and Amerindian culture; horses, clothing, language from the former, and mate, boleadoras, and poncho from the latter)
  • its history as a continuing dialectic of “native” expressions of autonomy and European and later American intervention and influence

As with any hybrid, though the product is a result of two established sources, it is unique and original, and different enough from both of its parents to be a novel entity in its own right.