If your neighbor, your coworker, your in-laws, or your new friend are Latino, you should know a few Latino customs to help your new friendship be a long-lasting and strong! Of course there are always exceptions, but these things will generally apply.
1. If you invite a Latino to your house, they might arrive later than the scheduled time. How late? Mmm, maybe 15 minutes to an hour. One hour?? Yes, one hour late! And it might even be more. Here’s a solution: tell your Latino friends that the party/get-together starts half an hour or an hour earlier, so then they can arrive on time to your house. Likewise, if a Latino friend is having a party, and you get there ‘on time,’ your friend might not be ready to accept guests yet, or may have just finished taking a shower or cooking dinner. So it would might be a good idea to hang out in your car for at least 10 minutes before ringing the doorbell.
2. Be ready to dine deliciously, and in abundance. Latinos are accustomed to cooking every day, and serve a lot of food when they have parties or get-togethers. Try not to eat before going to a Latino party, because if you say, “No, I’m full,” the person who cooked might be offended. Also, caution: watch out for the peppers! There are many spicy dishes in Latino cooking.
3. Latino’s parties go late, including those for kids. For example, if a child’s party starts at 4 in the afternoon (5, Latino time), it might end at 11pm. From 4pm-7pm, it focuses on the kids, and from 7pm to 11pm, on the adults.
4. Be ready to dance. At every party or gathering, Latinos like to put on music. And the majority of gathering end with dancing. If you don’t know how to dance, it’d be good to take some short lessons in salsa or merengue.
5. Latinos love soccer. If your Latino friend is a man, he’ll probably try to talk to you about soccer. If you don’t know anything about it, maybe you can do a small Google search on it.
Latinos are happy, conversational, and great hosts. There’s no doubt you’ll love spending time with them—and if you’re learning Spanish, it’ll be a great opportunity to practice.