Things You’ll Never Forget Growing Up Hispanic

Relatable experiences if you have Hispanic parents.


Graphic by Vanessa Feliciano/SAC.Media.

In every culture there are customs that are shared among people in completely different households, and Hispanics are no different. If you grew up in a Hispanic household then you can probably relate to these shared experiences that shaped us all growing up.

Saturday Morning Cleaning

You knew you were going to spend your Saturday cleaning when you woke up to the sound of Spanish music blaring and the smell of Fabuloso. If that didn’t wake you up, then your mom probably did at 8 a.m. with a broom in her hand and complaining that you’ve slept in too long.


When the party ends it seems almost impossible to get your mom to go home. She is most likely too far gone gossiping with your tia about the latest family drama. When you ask her to go home and she hits you with the “soon” you know that means you have another few hours left. Remember not to ask too many times or your tia will get on you for bugging her.

Endless Plates of Food

Never mention to your abuela that you’re hungry because she will fill your plate higher than Mt. Everest. If you don’t say you are hungry then she will probably say you are too skinny and give you the food anyway. There is always amazing food at any family functions, the problem is getting it to stop. You never want to offend your tia or abuela so you just spoon it down, even though you were full two plates ago.

Asking to go out

Asking to go out is a complex process and requires weeks of planning. The follow up questions never stop, so if you don’t have your story just right then you probably aren’t going out. Your parents want to know where you’re going, who you’re going with, what time you are leaving, the exact time you are returning, and millions of other details you barely know yourself. Don’t even ask about going out twice in one week because the answer is more than likely a no.

La chancla

Those two words can send shivers down the spine of any Hispanic child. It is insane how many Hispanics have PTSD from footwear. Your mom can maneuver the chancla better than a boomerang. La chancla seemed to go around corners and hit you right in the spot that hurt the most.

Saying hi to everyone at the party

It is considered rude if you show up to a party and don’t say hello to everyone individually. You probably spent the first 20 mins of the party just completing this ritual. It most likely ends with your cheek a little wet and you tired of hugs.

Being Late

Being late to a party is expected in every Hispanic family. If you want us there on time you have to tell us two hours ahead of time. We’ll probably show up just in time to catch the taco man on his way out. But once we are there we won’t leave until 1 a.m. It’s all a balance.

Endless Relatives

There always seems to be relatives that you never met before popping up. Right when you think you met everyone, someone always appears at some family party. They always ask if you remember them from when you were little, but the truth is you have no idea who that person is.


There is always a telenovela playing in your house. They are always incredibly cheesy, but somehow they suck you in and leave you wanting more. The best one will always be “La Rosa De Guadalupe.”

Grocery bags as trash bags

Somewhere in a cupboard in your house there is a grocery bag filled with other grocery bags ready to be used as trashed bags. Heaven forbid you throw away an empty grocery bag, your mom will truly throw a fit. If they aren’t used for trash then they are probably reused for packing up your tia’s leftovers to take home.