An increasing number of Latinos in the U.S. are converting to Islam, with more Latina women than men converting to the faith.
"You feel tri-cultural, not bicultural: American, Hispanic and Muslim," Juan Alvarado told The Venture Online. Alvarado was raised Catholic by his Dominican parents but converted to Islam when he was in college. "'Te lavaron el cerebro.' 'You were brainwashed'," Alvarado said his parents told him.
But Alvarado is actually part of two groups whose numbers are consistently growing.
The population projections show the number of Muslims in the U.S. more than doubling over the next two decades, rising from 2.6 million in 2010 to 6.2 million in 2030, according to the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life.
The American Muslim Council estimates that in 2007 there were 200,000 Latino Muslims, a significant jump from 40,000 in 1997.
Latino Muslim U.S. residents make up 4 percent of Muslim Americans, according to Pew.