The Portuguese people are not considered Hispanic; rather they are a distinct ethnic group descended from pre-Celtic and proto-Celtic cultures that moved into the Spanish peninsula several thousand years after the first Iberian people arrived. Later influences would include Roman, Germanic and even Arabic and Syrian cultural groups.
Portuguese colonies exist all around the world on many continents. Perhaps the most well-known extension of Portuguese culture and heritage can be found in Brazil, which was first colonized in 1531. Other parts of the world also boast considerable Portuguese populations, but this ethnic group is not necessarily related to Brazilians who may have Portuguese heritage. Of the 100 million estimated Portuguese Brazilians, only about 5 million qualify for Portuguese citizenship. It is easy to understand why some Americans would mistake Portuguese people for individuals of Hispanic descent, given the close proximity of Portugal to Spain and the close proximity of many Portuguese colonies to Spanish colonies. In most cases, the average American may only have contact with any aspect of Portuguese culture through Brazilian immigrants who also speak Portuguese. In 2014, Portuguese culture is a reflection of many outside influences and the incorporation of unique traditions from a diverse selection of foreign cultures.