It's about that time of the year when people start scrambling to do something for Hispanic Heritage Month, celebrated from September 15 to October 15 in the United States, for their work, school or group. As a proud Latina of Mexican ancestry I must stick up for my beautiful Latinos from other countries because many time people think hiring a Mariachi and setting up a taco bar is a great tribute to Hispanic Heritage Month.
In 2019, Mexican Americans comprised 11.3% of the US population and 61.5% of all Latino Americans which means 38.5% are from other countries. So to sum it up, all Latinos are not Mexican. Latinos are some of the most diverse people in the world and they each have rich and distinctive cultures, music and foods. People often confuse Race, Ethnicity, Nationality, and Culture
which may be different or the same depending on each person's individual life experience.
Today, I'm just going to touch on cultural experiences because explaining the rest would be liking giving a college course. Here are some ideas for getting to know Latin cultures in a fun and inviting way at work, school or play. Enjoy!
LATIN STREET FOODS - Bring in street foods from different Latino countries such as Pupusas (El Salvador and Honduras), Mofongo (Puerto Rico), Huaraches or Elotes (Mexico), Coxinha (Brazil), Tamales (every Latin Country) and the list goes on and on. It's an easy and tasty way to try flavors from every country.
MIXOLOGY CLASS - Mix up cocktails or mocktails from different countries Mojito (Cuba), Margarita or Paloma) Mexico), Pisco Sour (Peru & Chile), Piña Colada (Puerto Rico), El Macuá (Nicaragua) and Mamajuana (Dominican Republic) to mention a few. You can also go down to your local BevMo and do a tsting of some of the most popular spirits & liqueurs
from brandies to pisco, tequila to rums. #DrinkReponsibly
TROPICAL DRINK TASTING - For schools or other groups that don't wish to serve alcohol you can mix up some tropical drinks from the Americas such as Chicha Morada, a purple corn drink from Peru, Leche con Plátano, a banana milkshake from Chile, Champús a pineapple & corn beverage found in Colombia, Peru, Ecuado, Agua de Sapo, a lime & ginger for Costa Rico and let's not forget Horchata and Agua Frescas from Mexico.
DIY LATIN ARTS & CRAFTS - Have a fun DIY party for children to adults. You can make a candy-filled piñata, paint a Frida portrait, create fancy papel picado or paper flowers, make tin can luminarias, succulent gardens, flower headbands, and more.
LATINO AUTHORS & POETS - From historians to children's books authors, fact to fiction there are an abundance of wonderful Latino writers and poets who will inspire and excite you. Choose a book to read and/or Invite a local spoken word poet or an author in to do a reading. Call your local library or poet's society for suggestions.
MUSIC & DANCE - Get everybody up on their feet and moving by inviting musicians from Huapango to Rock en Español and/or dancers from Salsa to Folklorico. Depending on your group they can take some dance lessons, join a drum circle or just relax and enjoy a performance, Spotify and Pandora have Latin music channels and have also created special playlists for Hispanic Heritage Month under genres such as Reggaeton, Bossa Nova, Latin Pop and of course Mariachi music,
FAMOUS & FABULOUS LATINOS - Whatever field or occupation you are in you can feature famous or accomplished Latinos on your social media, newsletters or a presentation. Share their stories with your board room, sports team, classroom or organization. One architectural firm featured Latino Architects, NASA featured Hispanic Astronauts and the NFL highlighted Best Hispanic Players.
HOST A GAME NIGHT - Play a fierce game of dominoes, a fun game of Loteria and learn some Spanish, shoot some Mexican Dice or play a spinning top game of Pirinola. Do this on iits own or let it be part of your festivities along with food and music.
NETFLIX & CHILL - Don't forget that you can also binge-watch lots of original programming from documentaries to musical films created by or featuring Latinos on Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu, like global hit La Casa de Papel (Money Heist), The Taco Chronicles, Gentified, Latin History for Morons and classic movies like La Bamba, Stand & Deliver, Coco or Like Water for Chocolate. Keep an eye out for their curated lists starting on September 15th.
PAN DULCE & HOT CHOCOLATE - and finally... You can treat some of your favorite people to pan dulce and array of CasaQ Artisan Hot Chocolates including:
Xocolatl is a sweet and savory Mexican artisan hot chocolate made with the finest cocoa, cinnamon and vanilla along with a touch of spice to make a wonderfully luscious drink like no other.
Dulce de Leche is a sweet mix of creamy caramel and milk chocolate. The lusciously rich drink is perfect on its own or a great addition to your morning coffee.
Sabroso is a premium dark chocolate for true chocolate lovers! Enjoy our sweet and sinful beverage on its own, add to your coffee or mix with a liqueur.
Mocha de Olla is a perfect blend of traditional Café de Olla and Mexican hot chocolate. This heartwarming drink is made with the finest cocoa, coffee, cinnamon and vanilla.