Cultura y Costumbres

Culture & Customs

The more you know about a people group and country,

the more understanding you will have about its unique culture & customs.

 Be curious and appreciate the good others have to offer.

Definition of culture:  the sum of attitudes, customs, and beliefs that distinguishes one group of people from another. Culture is transmitted, through language, material objects, ritual, institutions, and art, from one generation to the next.


¡Pan Dulce!


With 21 countries whose official language is Spanish, it is still strange to read there are 15 words for kite!

Spanish Words for Kite Infographic


Bimbo is Mexico’s largest multinational bakery company.  It has manufacturing plants in 32 countries.


Here is a photo of the “barritas de piña” I brought to class 🙂

 13 Spanish words for kite!


El baile de Argentina = The dance of Argentina

Exposure to the culture of a country can make learning the language more fun.  Argentina is famous for its dance:  el tango.  Video is a bit long, but the dancers are lovely and modest.  Intro is in French.  Start at 1:30 for the dance.



5 special words to know when traveling to Costa Rica:  


5 special words to know when traveling to Venezuela: 


5 special words to know when traveling to Spain:



Disfruten!   Enjoy!

João Luiz and Douglas Lora 

Two great players showing a repertoire that mixes classical with traditional Brazilian music. Full length concert.



Family, the Latino Cornerstone

By far, family is the strongest of these values and Latinos in general have a deep identification and attachment to their family, which is defined beyond the traditional American nuclear family of parents and children.  Grandparents, aunts, uncles, great-aunts, great-uncles, cousins and even close family friends play a role as well, and it is not uncommon for Latinos to live in multi-generational households.  Ensuring the well-being of family – whether it is physical, material or emotional =  is also key, generally giving priority to the collective rather than the individual.

Above excerpt taken from :  “How the Latino Culture Stands out From the Crowd” –  Porter Novelli staff writer  Oct. 3, 2013


FLASH MOB in Spain Aug. 1, 2016.  Very Cool!


Declamar:  the art of reciting the written word, usually poetry, with dramatic interpretation 

Reciting poetry may predate literacy and is a universal art form.   My grandmother and mother grew up reciting poetry as a regular part of life in Nicaragua.  My grandmother could recite poetry she remembered from her childhood when she was 100 years old!

Short article on history of reading poetry in public. Copy & paste link.

Be inspired!

Ivoree reciting Canción Tonta  por  Frederico Garcia Lorca – February 24, 2016

Adorable 4 year old boy!  

Young girl with dramatic interpretation.  

Not in Spanish, but excellent example from Anne of Green Gables movie.  Start at 1:06  

Short article with videos of  Poetry Recitation Competition 2015.  Copy & paste link. to know a bit of Cuba!  Click this pdf to read highlights from Westways Magazine September 2106  Havana, Cuba002


Learn the history of the churro here:  Churros


SHARKS IN FRESH WATER LAKE?! Yes, it is possible.    My parents were born in Nicaragua.  I have visited only once, when I was 11 years old.  A favorite memory: looking out a window of my aunt’s country cottage.  The vista was so unreal and perfect, I imagined it a painting in a museum.  Copy ‘n paste this URL to read about the world’s only fresh water sharks.


Maybe you have seen Mariachis in person.  This video is so cool!  See young people having a great time and keeping tradition alive.

Here is a short history about Mariachi music.  Que Viva el Mariachi


Spanish is the official language in 21 countries.  More than 400 million people speak Spanish!

YOU are part of that group.  ¡Felicidades!  = Congratulations!


Copy ‘n paste this URL to read the history of the famous tortilla:      6:38 min.


Tres Leches Cake – simple looking cake, but delicious!  Uncle Andrew made this one for his wife’s birthday.  If you ever see it on a restaurant menu, share a slice.  OR if you are adventurous, try the recipe in the link below.  Cannot guarantee outcome.  I TRIED making this type of cake only ONCE 😉



The siesta is one of the most famous aspects of Spanish life – that dead period in late afternoon when everything shuts down in Spain, in theory so people can go to sleep.

The Spanish take the siesta very seriously, even going so far as to have a Sleeping Competition in its honor. But, on a normal day, do the Spanish really go to sleep at this time?

When is the Siesta?

There are two periods of siesta in Spain – siesta for shops and businesses, during which time many people go to a bar or restaurant, and then siesta for the restaurants, who obviously can’t rest when everyone wants to come and eat.

The siesta for shops and businesses is from approximately 2pm until 5pm while bars and restaurants close from about 4pm until about 8 or 9pm.  Excerpt by Damian Corrigan


You have heard this famous song, now see the dance!  Mexican Hat Dance


This famous style of dance is not for girls only.

The video below is long….but just skip forward to see some amazing dancing.  I learned a lot by listening to the history!

Documentary Amalia Hernandez, the founder of Ballet Folklórico


Fútbol  = Soccer…. Short article on the most popular sport of Spanish-speaking countries.

The Role of Soccer in Latin American Culture