The Chinese New Year officially began on February 12th and its celebration took place on February 26th. The Chinese New Year is the transition between zodiac signs, and 2021 is characterized for being the year of the Ox, a valued animal among Chinese culture because of its positive attributions for being hardworking and honest, in addition to its important role in agriculture. At Cool & Associates LLC we want to celebrate this new year and also commemorate the impact and influence Chinese culture has had on Latin American economy, especially in Central America.
As we celebrate this transition into the New Year, let us also celebrate the influence that Chinese culture has had on American society and their contributions since the beginning of their immigration period. Chinese immigrants arrived in large groups during the California Gold Rush, the numbers increased to hundreds of thousands by the end of the 1800s. During this time period, many Chinese immigrants contributed to the construction of the transcontinental railroad that goes across the Sierra Nevada mountains, connecting the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroad in 1869. This encouraged settlements on the West Coast as it was easier and cheaper to travel, creating towns alongside the railroad and bringing more prosperity to the West.
The Panama Canal, or in Spanish, Canal de Panamá, is one of the most strategic artificial waterways in the world as it connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, allowing shippers of commercial goods to save time and money by transporting cargo more quickly between the two Oceans (Lively, 2019). Completed in 1914, the Panama Canal symbolized U.S. technological prowess and economic power, it was considered a major foreign policy achievement at the time (U.S. Department of State). Nowadays the Canal is considered the principal economic engine in Central America, and a pillar of international trade between Asia and Europe.
In recent years Chinese presence in Latin America and the Caribbean has been increasingly expanding, and food culture has been one of the most influenced areas. Fusion restaurants have become the new trend of style around the world, and Latin America has been no exception (Bierly, 2017). Asian – American cuisine can be found at any place, and its existence has been taking place in the Americas for more than 100 years. One notorious example can be found in Peruvian cuisine where many Peruvian traditional dishes are actually Chinese – Peruvian fusion dishes such as Chifa, a popular Peruvian dish that is made of arroz chaufa, a combination of Cantonese fried rice and Peruvian flavors.
As we celebrate this new beginning, Cool & Associates LLC would like to wish all the best of luck in this new lunar year! We hope that this is a year full of abundance, happiness, love, and prosperity for you and all your loved ones.