Spanish term to denote a person with European and Indigenous American ancestry

Mestizo (meh-STEE-tzo) is a Spanish term for a person who is of mixed European (usually Spanish) and Amerindian ancestry.

A casta painting of a Spanish man and an Indigenous woman with a Mestizo child
Regions with significant populations
Latin America, United States, Spain, Philippines, Micronesia
Predominantly Roman Catholic; religious minorities including Protestants and syncretism with Indigenous beliefs exist
Related ethnic groups
European peoples
Indigenous peoples of the Americas
* African diaspora in the Americas
An image from colonial South America shows that mestizos are the children of Spanish people and Indigenous people

Mestizos have existed since Spain controlled much of what is now Latin America. A mestizo was usually the son of a Spanish father and a Native American mother. Mestizos form the largest part of the population in some Latin American nations. A large minority of mestizos makes up most of the population in Mexico, the Spanish-speaking nation with the largest population in the world.

During the colonial era, many Native Americans were converted to Roman Catholicism and began using Spanish instead of their traditional language. This was because of the concept that existed in the Spanish colonies, which gave more "value" to European people over Native Americans and Africans. Because of this, many Native Americans gained better social status by calling themselves "mestizos" instead of "Indios."



Indo-Mestizo (also known as Cholo) is a Spanish term for a person who is around 3/4 Native American and 1/4 Caucasian ancestry and an unfortunate derogatory term used by the European cast system for racial discrimination against Original Native people

Indo-Mestizos term is a racial slur used mostly to discriminate against Original Native people in Eastern and Southern Mexico, much of Northern Central America, in South American West Pacific Side Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Colombia, and Bolivia.

Indo-Mestizos usually have more Native American traits but may have a light pigmentation with completely Native American features or a dark pigmentation with some obvious Caucasian features.

Famous Indo-Mestizos include Maya Zapata, George Lopez, and Danny Trejo. They are so-called because of their appearance, not because of their known genetic background.


  1. "Mestizos - Atlantic History". Oxford Bibliographies. Retrieved 2022-05-01.
  2. "Métis, Mestizo, and Mixed-Blood - Jesuit Online Bibliography". Retrieved 2022-05-01.
  3. Hill, Samantha (2001). Race and nation building : a comparison of Canadian Métis and Mexican Mestizos - UBC Library Open Collections (Thesis). doi:10.14288/1.0099597. Retrieved 2022-05-01.
  4. "Métis, Mestizo, and Mixed‐Blood | Request PDF". Retrieved 2022-05-01.