Hi, I'm Nicolas, I work at my MyHeritage as a Community Manager for the Spanish speaking countries. I am based in London but I come from Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Mine is a tough task, if you consider that the combined total of native and non-native Spanish speakers is estimated to be around 500 million people. After English and Chinese, Spanish is the third most spoken language in the world. It's therefore not surprising, that more than a million MyHeritage members come from Spanish speaking countries. Have a look at the cool MyHeritage Member Map.
Apart from Spain, a total of twenty countries in Latin America have Spanish as their first language, and a significant number of the population of four other countries also use it, including the United States, where it is the second most spoken language. The main non Spanish-speaking country in Latin America is Brazil, where they speak Portuguese.
We can track the origin of this fact back to
..the Spanish colonization of the Americas, beginning with the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1492. Since then, most parts of Latin America have received strong flows of immigration from all around the world. Immigrants and their descendants had an important impact on the ethnic composition of the majority of the present countries.
A good example is Argentina, which is considered a country of immigrants and a melting pot of different peoples. Most Argentines descend from colonial-era settlers and from 19th and 20th century European immigrants. Around 90% of Argentina's population is of European descent, with the majority tracing back their ancestry to Italy and Spain.
I cannot escape this fact myself, as I can trace my family roots back to Italy. My surname is Pergola, and I know that one of my ancestors migrated to Buenos Aires in the early 20th century from Potenza, the capital of a province of the same name in the Basilicata region.
I hope someone with this surname reads this post, so we might be able to find common ancestors. I'm sure my Spanish won't be a problem, as there's a great chance that he or she will speak it too!
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