Translation of Lectura 3 - "Lo importante de la vida, en Hispanoamérica y en los Estados Unidos."

What's Important in Life, in Spanish America and in the United States

In customs and way of life, there are important differences between the Hispanic and the Anglosaxon worlds. In our country, the United States, the importance of the family is much less. Young people try to be independent of their parents. They leave the family home and rent their own apartments. Being rich, or becoming rich, is not important for all [of them], but it is more important than in Mexico, Perú, Argentina, Chile or other Spanish-speaking countries.

In Mexico, children will live with their parents until their marriage. It isn't for economic reasons. Saving money is not very important. They want to live with them [their parents]. In order to have one's own house, it is necessary to have one's own family, through marriage.

In the Hispanic world the family is extended. Grandparents, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, cousins, in-laws form a group of mutual support. Another important difference between the two worlds contributes to the concept of the extended family. In the U.S. it is common to move several times during one's life. In Spanish America this is much less common. One can live in the same town, with the same friends, near all his/her relatives, during one's entire life.