Essentially, Mexicans were never homogeneous although portrayed as such. Beyond the tendency to group people together by their countries, the mestizo identity, and the claiming of la raza have become synonymous with ‘Mexican.’ Though the idea of likeness of the Mexican population dominates today, it is necessary to remember the history of Mexico’s diversity in order to understand the particularities of where the Chicano identity is historically linked and loyal to. Chicano communities are proof that borders are effective in separating people from land or people from each other. However, a connection across borders still remains. Whether simply a mythical reclamation of homeland or not, much of Chicanos’ connection to Aztlan is about rightful belonging, reclaiming a lost territory that has been laced with “frustration and powerlessness'' with regards to their treatment in the U.S. Chicano music today is very diverse, but what is the general criteria for Chicano music, if there really is any? Are there particular genres that are exclusively Chicano, or can Chicano music encompass other genres or hybrids like Cumbia, rap, or rock? Is Chicano music exclusively made by Chicano people or can any Mexican and/or Mexican American musician contribute? Finally, does Chicano music have to talk about Chicano culture and/or issues?
As Latino people comprise an increasing proportion of the United States population, it is more and more pressing that non-Latino people understand who these people are, where they come from, and what role they play in our modern society. Latinos make up the largest minority group in the U.S. at around 58 million people, or 18% of the country’s population.
When Americans think of cultural products of Mexico, they normally mention items such as tacos, mariachi bands, and the sombrero. However, the country has much more to present than the wonderful yet sometimes superficial artifacts widely known in the United States. One example is the visual arts, and more specifically, muralism.