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Latin American Culture

Latin American Culture
Latin American Culture Monthly Page 2

Latin American Culture

Celebrating our foods, recipes, and traditions.

The Region

  • Latin America is one of the most diverse regions in the world. It includes more than 30 countries, all with many different ethnic groups and cultures. 
  • Its land varies from mountains to deserts to rainforests and is rich in biodiversity. 
  • Fresh foods like tomatoes, tomatillos, sweet peppers, hot chili peppers, onions, garlic, cilantro, and oregano are available throughout the year and used in countless dishes.


  • Family is the heart of the Latinx community. 
  • In Latinx culture, cooking and eating together is a common way of bonding. 
  • Family meals lead to better nutrition by exposing children to more fruits and vegetables. They also improve relationships and emotional health, helping family members learn about one another as they sit together at the table.


  • When they move to a new country, most people carry their cultural traditions with them.
  • The video Sabores Latinos tells the story of Rosario and her family. It shows how they use herbs and spices to give their dishes authentic Mexican flavor now that they live in Oregon. To watch our video, visit

Our Celebrations

Family meals are especially important on holidays. Here are examples of holidays that some countries in the region celebrate:

Independence Day:
  • July 20 in Colombia
  • September 15 in Costa Rica
  • September 16 in Mexico
  • September 18 in Chile

Men and women in traditional outfits dancing.

Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead):
  • November 1 and 2 in Mexico

Men, women, and children with faces painted like skulls.

Children’s Day:
  • April 30 in Mexico
  • August 8 in Chile
  • September 9 in Costa Rica

Six kids looking at the camera and smiling.

Mother’s Day:
  • May 10 in Mexico
  • Second Sunday of May in Chile, Colombia, and Cuba
  • August 15 in Costa Rica

Three women smiling at a camera, a little girl, her mother, and her grandmother.

Father’s Day:
  • Third Sunday of June in Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, and Mexico

A family of six, on girl, one boy, their parents, and their grandparents.

Celebrating with Salsas

Salsa Roja

Salsa Verde

Pico de Gallo

Notes About Salsas

  • Wash hands with soap and water right after handling hot peppers; avoid touching face.
  • Chop the leaves and stems of cilantro; all parts are flavorful. 
  • No blender? Use a knife or grind with a molcajete, a traditional stone mortar and pestle.
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