Latinos accounted for more than half the U.S. population growth in the last 10 years.

That’s according to the most recent Census numbers.

Latinos now make up 18.7% of the total U.S. population …. That’s 2 percentage points higher than in 2010.

Even though it’s one box on the Census questionnaire, not every Latino is the same. Their skin isn’t always brown, their food isn’t the same and their cultural practices aren’t the same.

Demographic numbers tell us there are more and more people somehow mixed with Latino heritage or wholly Latino.

In 2010, 5.3% of Hampton Roads identified as Hispanic or Latino. In 2019, that number grew to 7.1%.

In partnership with Old Dominion University Department of World Languages and Cultures and the university’s Hispanic Latino Employee Association., WHRO is exploring what it means to be Latino in Hampton Roads.

A note for readers: We're using the word Latino in place of Hispanic. Hispanic typically refers only to Spanish-speaking countries and excludes countries in Latin America that speak other languages.

ODU Spanish professor Luis Guadaño, Virginia Commonwealth University professor Anita Nadal and Eastern Shore community organizer Cecilia Hernandez-Peña discuss the complexities of Latino identity below: 

Click Here to Play Audio

Hispanic Heritage Month Events At ODU

  • Learn to Tango, 7 p.m. Sept. 16 in Student Recreation Center
  • Conversation With ODU's First Lady Marisela Rosas Hemphill, 12:30 p.m., Sept. 24, (virtual event): RSVP here.
  • Destigmatizing Mental Health and Creating Self-Care in the Latinx Community, 6 p.m. Sept. 27 (virtual event): A panel of Latinx therapists and counselors destigmatize mental health in the Latinx community and share ways students can welcome self-care through centering and grounding techniques. RSVP here to receive the link.
  • Global Café, 11 a.m. Sept. 30 in Broderick Dining Commons
  • Zumba Ball, 4 p.m. Oct. 3 on Roseann Runte Quad: Enjoy a Zumba Power Hour of fitness and fun hosted by Jorge Rivera, Nichola Jones and ODU alum Travel Jones.
  • Hispanic Game Hour, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Oct. 5 in Webb Center Mane Hub Latinx Affinity Room: Enjoy an afternoon playing favorite Hispanic games, including La Loteria, Mexican dominoes and Latino o not?
  • Adelante Dinner, 6 p.m. Oct. 9 in the North Cafeteria or online: This annual event brings together Latinx students, families, faculty and alumni for dinner and a roundtable discussion highlighting the experience of being a Latinx current or former Monarch. RSVP here.