Latinos have lived in North America for over 400 years, arriving decades before the Pilgrims and other English settlers. Yet for many outside of Latino ethnic groups, little is known about the cultures that comprise the Latino community ... surprising considering their increasing presence in the U.S. population-over 50 million individuals at the latest census. This book explores the heritage and history of Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Dominicans, and Central and South Americans. Unlike similar history surveys on these communities, this book places the 500 years of Latino history into a single narrative. Each chapter discusses the collective group within a particular time period-moving chronologically from 1500 to the present-revealing the shared experiences of community building and discrimination in the United States, the central role of Latinas and Latinos in their communities, and the diversity that exists within the communities themselves.