Mestizo is a term of Spanish origin describing peoples of mixed race background. In Hispanic America, the term originally referred to the children of one European and one American Indian parent. Later the term became common for all people of mixed European and indigenous ancestry in the Spanish American colonies. Mestizos officially make up the majority of the population in Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Colombia, Venezuela, and Chile, and are significant in most other Hispanic American countries, with the possible exception of Cuba and Dominican Republic. Many Americans of Hispanic and Latino origin identify themselves as mestizos as well, particularly those who also identify as Chicano.
In the Philippines, the term refers to people of mixed Malay and Chinese or Spanish descent. However, colloquially, the term mestizo (sometimes mestiso; mestiza for females) refers to a person of mixed ancestry (not just Spanish or Chinese) and who has a light skin color.