It has been claimed that there are more Spanish native speakers in Los Angeles than English native speakers. The close proximity of California to the Mexican border has resulted in huge numbers of Mexicans settling in the State and of all of the people residing there 39% are from Hispanic descent.
It is natural that there is a large Mexican presence as for so long it was a province of Mexico. It was only seen as being part of the United States when in 1844 it was annexed by the United States. It was then sparsely populated, but once the California Gold rush started in 1848, there was no way that it would ever be returned to Mexico.
There are large numbers of Mexicans and other migrants from Central American countries throughout the state, but the densest concentrations are near the border in the south of the state. The immigration authorities are constantly trying to control both legal and illegal migrations between the two countries.
This region in the south sees many local properties adopt Mexican style architecture. The Spanish Colonial Revival Style was a type of architecture that was used in the early 20th century. This reflected the buildings of the Spanish in Mexico and has left behind many properties that follow this style.
The city of Santa Barbara adopted the style and today there is a real Spanish feel to the buildings that can be found. The county courthouse is a fine example of a style that has white stone washed appearance that helps to maintain a cool temperature in the searing heat.
As well as there being a Latin influence in the architecture, there is certainly the same in the music. There are many Latino type bands and performers who are constantly performing throughout the state. There are even some that have sold large numbers of records.
Ricky Martin grew up in Puerto Rico before moving to Los Angeles to pursue an acting and singing career. His single “Livin La Vida Loca” was a massive hit and paved the way for the Latin Pop explosion. Other performers such as Enrique Iglesias, Luis Miguel and Gloria Trevi following suit, selling many of their records in California.
The Latin influence in California’s music has been in evidence for a number of years. Ritchie Valens released “La Bamba” which was adapted from a Mexican folk song and turned into a huge hit. Coming from Mexican parents, Valens promised so much, until he died on the same plane crash that also killed Buddy Holly.
Where the Latin influence is really seen in California is with the people’s choice of sports. The State loves every sport, but it is the Latinos passion for football that has seen LA Galaxy purchase some of the biggest star names in world soccer. David Beckham, Robbie Keane and Steven Gerard have all be tempted to play their games for the city as a result of the devotion to the sport that reigns in the region. The Latin influence can be felt everywhere in the State, from the food people eat to the fashions that the young like to follow. The blending in of the Latin influence has added to the magic of living in California.