A tough year for Latinos

The year 2013 was a tough for Latinos in the United States. There was some economic recovery on Wall Street, but in the Hispanic community, improvements were far from becoming a reality.

Economic inequality was ubiquitous among Latinos; the great majority work hard for minimum wages that are unable to help them emerge from poverty. To top it off, income disparity between men and women has grown in such a way that Latinas are still compensated poorly despite working full time.

In the long term, education is the way to obtain higher salaries. In this aspect, the year brought good news with advances in Common Core, a federal academic standard to guarantee that students can learn basic elements, no matter which district or state they are in. Latinos must have equal access to education.

When it comes to housing, the outlook is not positive either. Latinos continued to lose their homes because of obstacles imposed by the banking industry, which would still rather sell the property at a cost than decrease the creditor’s debt. This has resulted in increasingly higher rents given rising demand.

On the other hand, in health care, the implementation of Obamacare provided better patient protections in dealing with insurance companies. The scandal of the poor performance of the website is a minor ill for Latinos—the community with the lowest percentage of insured.

Lastly, immigration was the emotional rollercoaster of the year. The Senate finally passed comprehensive reform, which was then blocked in the House of Representatives.

Immigration is one of the debts that 2013 leaves to be fulfilled next year, one that we can’t forget about. Likewise, in 2014, a legislative election year, Latino voters must remember which politicians understood them and which despised them. Going to the polls is one way to help make the coming years better for Latinos than 2013.