by Adriana Villavicencio
Advice on party planning usually includes tips on napkins, the perfect table settings, and the order of your 5-course dinner. But Latino parties require a whole different type of flavor. No matter how nice your mantel is and how much you spend on fresh-cut flowers, if you’re a hosting a party for Latinos, you need to go all out on the following four things:
1) Musica movida (Music you can dance to): This is not the crowd you want to play soft jazz or light pop for. Once when I put classical music on for a party, my mom said, “Me vas a poner a dormir! (You’re going to put me to sleep!)” Latinos enjoy a wide array of salsa, merengue, y bachata. Maybe the occasional bolero for singing to (in groups) and crying over a shot of tequila while reminiscing over la patria (the homeland) y tiempos pasados (days of the past).
2) Tragos (Drinks): When Latinos drink at a party, they don’t usually grab the neat scotch in the tiny tumbler. They are more inlcined to order something that actually looks exciting – think mojitos, sangria, margaritas. This is not to discount the cold crisp cerveza or the full-bodied glass of vino, but it’s a party…live a little!
3) La Comida (The Food): Great house parties require great food. Some of my Latino friends didn’t even RSVP to my party until they saw the menu. Skip the handfuls of nuts and cubes of bland cheese. Latinos want real food: el pernil, el bacalao, el arroz con gandules. Hot appetizers, or bocaditos, work as well. Try small quesadillas, tamales, empanadas, or popusas. The trick is to keep everyone fed and hydrated, so they have enough energy to dance the night away.
4) Mi Gente (My People): When it comes to invitees, the more the merrier. Latinos thrive with lots of family, and friends of family are like family, so invite a large number of them. Besides, Latinos love to help non-Latinos practice their Spanish and their salsa. They may call them gringos, but it is totally out of love. Include kids on your list. Latinos party with their elders and their children alike. Why should anyone miss out on the warmth and joy of a good Latino party?
No matter the size of your party budget or the length of your planning, it is the people you invite who will make it a night to remember!
To learn more about Adriana, visit The Radical Ideas.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those
of the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.