Mexicans vs. Puerto Ricans — What's the Difference?
By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on November 27, 2023
Mexicans originate from Mexico, a country in North America. Puerto Ricans hail from Puerto Rico, a Caribbean island and U.S. territory. Both have distinct cultures, histories, and traditions.
Difference Between Mexicans and Puerto Ricans
Table of Contents
Mexicans, originating from Mexico, possess a rich heritage that’s a blend of indigenous and Spanish influences. On the other hand, Puerto Ricans, originating from Puerto Rico, embody a cultural fusion of indigenous Taíno, Spanish, and African influences. While Mexicans identify with a nation that enjoys full sovereignty, Puerto Ricans navigate a unique status, living in a territory under U.S. jurisdiction, intertwining their Latin American roots with U.S. influences.
In the realm of language, Mexicans predominantly speak Spanish with varied regional dialects influenced by indigenous languages. Similarly, Puerto Ricans communicate primarily in Spanish but often integrate English into their everyday language, owing to the American influence on the island. The Spanish spoken in Mexico and Puerto Rico has distinct accents and colloquialisms, reflecting their respective histories and influences.
Mexicans celebrate various cultural and historical events like Cinco de Mayo, which commemorates the Battle of Puebla, and Día de los Muertos, a vibrant celebration honoring deceased loved ones. Puerto Ricans, while also celebrating historical and cultural events, notably observe the San Juan Bautista Day with massive festivities and enjoy the vibrant Christmas season with unique traditions like parrandas. Each group, thus, retains distinct celebratory customs, enriching their cultural fabric.
Cuisine in Mexico is renowned for its bold flavors, utilizing ingredients like chili peppers, beans, and maize, and iconic dishes like tacos and tamales. Contrastingly, Puerto Rican cuisine blends Spanish, African, and Taíno ingredients and techniques, yielding dishes like mofongo and pasteles. Hence, though both cuisines share a Spanish influence, they diverge notably in flavors, ingredients, and culinary traditions.
In terms of political identity, Mexicans engage with a government that operates independently of other nations. Puerto Ricans, however, navigate a complex political identity, where residents are U.S. citizens yet lack voting representation in the U.S. Congress. This divergence in political structures underpins distinct experiences and debates within each community, regarding issues like statehood and national identity for Puerto Ricans and international relations and domestic policies for Mexicans.
Mexico, in North America
Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory
Spanish and English
Cinco de Mayo, Día de los Muertos
San Juan Bautista Day, Parrandas
Noted for tacos, tamales
Known for mofongo, pasteles
Compare with Definitions
Mexicans engage with a rich, diverse culinary tradition.
Mexicans often enjoy a mid-afternoon meal known as “la comida.”
Puerto Ricans are people originating from Puerto Rico.
Puerto Ricans commemorate the discovery of their island on November 19th.
Mexicans navigate a political landscape independent of U.S. jurisdiction.
Mexicans elect their president through popular vote.
Puerto Ricans relish in a vibrant, melodic musical tradition.
Puerto Ricans have significantly influenced the global popularity of reggaeton.
Mexicans inhabit a nation with numerous indigenous groups.
Many Mexicans celebrate indigenous traditions and customs.
Puerto Ricans engage in a distinct and varied culinary practice.
Puerto Ricans often enjoy dishes featuring plantains, such as mofongo.
Mexicans are individuals originating from the country of Mexico.
Mexicans celebrate their independence on September 16th.
Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens, though residing outside the 50 states.
Puerto Ricans can move to and work in the U.S. without needing a visa.
Mexicans communicate predominantly in the Spanish language.
Many Mexicans are bilingual, especially in regions bordering the U.S.
Puerto Ricans often seamlessly interweave Spanish and English in conversation.
Puerto Ricans may greet each other with a hearty “Hola, ¿cómo estás?”
A native or inhabitant of Mexico.
A person of Mexican ancestry.
Of or relating to Mexico or its people, language, or culture.
What is the political status of Puerto Ricans?
Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens residing in Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory.
Is Spanish the only language spoken by Mexicans?
While Spanish is dominant, some Mexicans also speak indigenous languages.
Who are Mexicans?
Mexicans are people originating from Mexico, a country in North America.
What’s a notable celebration for Mexicans?
Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a significant cultural celebration for Mexicans.
What currency do Mexicans use?
Mexicans use the Mexican Peso (MXN).
What is the capital of Mexico?
Mexico City is the capital of Mexico.
Can Puerto Ricans vote in U.S. Presidential elections?
No, Puerto Ricans residing in Puerto Rico cannot vote in U.S. Presidential elections.
What is a traditional Puerto Rican dish?
Mofongo, made with mashed plantains and various fillings, is a beloved Puerto Rican dish.
What is a recognized symbol of Puerto Rican identity?
The coquí, a small tree frog, is a recognized symbol of Puerto Rican identity.
What type of government does Mexico have?
Mexico is a federal republic with a presidential system.
Are Puerto Ricans subject to U.S. federal taxes?
Puerto Ricans pay some U.S. federal taxes but are exempt from others.
What languages are spoken in Puerto Rico?
Spanish and English are widely spoken in Puerto Rico.
What is a renowned Mexican culinary export?
Tacos are a well-known Mexican culinary export enjoyed globally.
Are all Puerto Ricans bilingual?
While many Puerto Ricans are bilingual, the degree of English proficiency can vary.
What is a popular Mexican tourist destination?
Cancun is a popular tourist destination in Mexico, known for its beaches.
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Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.