What Hispanic Women Have Taught Us About Hosting

hosting

Amidst the desires for oversized sweaters and long-awaited pumpkin spiced lattes, September also marks the recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month. This 30-day celebration begins on the 15th and commemorates the independence of several countries within the Latin American region. For years, Hispanic countries have endured numerous wars to reach this point of freedom, making today a great milestone within their culture.

With this in mind, if there is anything I’ve learned from the energetic leading ladies in my own world, it’s that Hispanic women are quite the culture setters and community influencers. With a persevering vigor for life, they have set the standard over the years for being top-notch homemakers and nurturing innovators. Across the many titles they undertake, hostess is a name that is congruent with the realms of their hospitable culture. They transmit energy and pleasure for the little things in life; they also offer their time to sacrifice for the good of others.

By opening their home and presenting a place for people to belong, they continue to inspire the creation of valuable memories and intentional living. While influencing the warm ambiance of their homes, they’ve also pioneered some of the best hostess-ing tactics.

Here are a few to note:

There’s a seat at the table for all.

A common Hispanic saying is mi casa es su casa. This timeless phrase accurately describes their attitude towards friends — both new and old. Hispanic women view their home as a safe haven for all to come and experience the warmth of a family environment. Their culture is grounded on the idea that there’s always enough food and conversation for one more person at the table. While we all come from different backgrounds and unique circumstances, there is power in coming together for a meal. These women teach us to eliminate discrimination and embrace community — because, after all, we need to be surrounded by one another. We can learn a thing or two when we allow for stories to be shared rather than conflicts.

Serve others first with excellence.

There is absolutely no room for mediocrity and plain tactics. As they cook relentlessly for their families, they make sure dinner guests are served first and make sure to listen out for the needs of their esteemed guests. Only the best linens within the house are placed over the dining table, while the freshest cuisine is handcrafted from scratch. Through a refreshing friendliness, every person who walks through the door is treated as nothing less of a king or a queen. When Hispanic women execute something, they give it their one hundred percent effort in hopes of impacting whoever may be at the receiving end.

Give attention to the details.

From fresh flowers to a clean house, Hispanic women go out of their way to prepare a detailed presentation for dinner guests. They find innovative ways to personalize their home. Whether it’s a handmade placemat or name card on the table, guests immediately see the woman’s personality incorporated into any gathering. With intentionality, Hispanic women have taught us to value the details. Beautifully, the details reflect the magnitude of care the hostess has put into her guest’s experience. They also remember to add a touch of heritage to the overall experience. To keep the atmosphere relaxing and vibrant, they display some of the most unique historical relics from their native heritage and play their favorite salsa mixes to lift up the mood.

With the sincere love in their hearts, Hispanic people continue to live out these valuable examples. As we immerse into this month’s cultural celebration, let’s be sure to observe the generosity and warmth of the Latin-American community.

What cues do you take from the different cultures around you?

Images via Beth Cath

Victoria is a freelance editor, photographer and writer currently residing in her home state of Florida. She completed her Bachelors of Science in Public Relations/Journalism at Southeastern University. She is an avid traveller with a love for community, culture and culinary finds.

18 COMMENTS
  • Ayala-Wilkin, forever me September 23, 2017

    This article really resonated with me. I’m sorry some of the readers did not read it as it was written but instead took some offense or generalized the theme of the article. My mom and I, till this day, will host formal or informal gatherings and will always make sure any guests feel comfortable and included. Whether our guests are family, friends or first-time guests we make sure they have a. a drink, b. they are not too hot or cold c. that they have a snack. If it is a meal, like breakfast, lunch or dinner then my mom and I serve our guests and make sure everyone is fine before we serve ourselves and sit down. And for my work parties in the office, I always bring in decorations (handmade and bought), nice serving ware and flowers. I plan the key holidays, Dia de los Muertos, Christmas, Thanksgiving, 4th of July, and Halloween. Everyone really enjoys the attention to detail, but I wouldn’t do it any other way.

    I really enjoyed this article and do no feel that I or my heritage was generalized or stereotyped. I do feel that this is an aspect of my upbringing and culture that I was surrounded by and that I have embraced and hope to pass on to my nieces and future children.

  • ShatterStereotypes September 22, 2017

    I feel the love and the good intentions of this article. But, I did feel taken aback by the headline and knew that I wouldn’t be the only one to comment on it. The issue is that as soon as you write “Hispanic Women have Taught Us”, whether you intend it or not, it casts them again as the “other”. Even in a positive light, this is not helpful in changing the narrative that, yes, we are all different, but no one group is the mainstream, the sole storyteller, the role-assigner.

  • Krystal September 19, 2017

    I appreciate this article’s call to apply lessons from home in other parts of life. I am not Latina, but I have studied Latin American culture. I think a more personal tone, such as “this is what I learned from watching my Honduran mother/grandmother/aunt/godmother as a hostess” would have less potential for misunderstanding than generalizing about Hispanic women.

  • Melody September 18, 2017

    Speaking as a Latina of Puerto Rican and Dominican decent I honestly don’t have an issue with this article. I read it and thought of my grandmother and mom and the way they have always hosted gatherings throughout my life. In no way shape or form did I take away a message that Latina’s are only good for hosting parties or any other complaint expressed below. I appreciated this article and understood it’s purpose.

    • Melody September 18, 2017

      descent**

    • Victoria September 18, 2017

      Hi Melody! Thank you so much for taking the time to read it and share how it resonated with you. It means a lot! Where would we been without our Latina mothers and grandmothers, right? Their authenticity, warmth and love are quite inspiring.

  • Bea September 17, 2017

    I agree with a lot of the other Latinas on this thread. As a Latina, I felt this was poorly written, dumb and overall not informative AT ALL. Using the term Hispanic also shows how out of touch your magazine is. You should do everyone a favor and hire some Latina writers for some real perspective instead of promoting this watered down version of a rich culture that has more to offer than setting the table for you to eat.

    • Victoria September 18, 2017

      Thanks for the comment, Bea. I understand your frustration, and as I see why this article didn’t meet your expectations, please know, once again, the purpose of this article was not to address our culture by strong analysis. This was to commemorate my grandmother and share with our Darling readers the character values she taught me which apply to every realm of life. The points are attempting to inspire inclusion, humility and service to others–all very admirable attributes. I totally understand your frustration, but I hope you can take a moment to understand the article’s purpose. All the best to you!

  • Concerned Latina September 16, 2017

    I understand what you were trying to convey but this perpetuates a lot of stereotypes we already see in Latino media. As a Latina, I was so excited to see this article be the lead for Darling’s email but upon reading.. I was disappointed. I’m sorry but we are so much more than good “hosts”. Why not celebrate the accomplishments of Latina women throughout history?

    • Victoria September 16, 2017

      I completely agree – we do have so much more to offer than our hostessing spirit. This article covers a very small example of the many things Latina women have to offer our society. The list of qualities is quite immense. I’m sorry you felt I was stereotyping our culture. This article was meant to be very lighthearted in nature. Thank you for sharing your perspective!

  • Elizabeth Williams September 15, 2017

    Loved loved this!! I’m Venezuelan and this read like a description of my mom. Beautiful language as well; just great. 🙂

    • Victoria September 16, 2017

      Aw, that is so awesome! Thanks so much for reading, Elizabeth! I love Venezuela! Such a beautiful culture.

  • Riot Girl On Fire September 15, 2017

    I really wanted to like this but it as a Xicana woman who grew up under the care of my Mexican abuelita. But this post was pretty tone-deaf – it takes typical gender stereotypes across many Western cultures, finds the Spanish aphorism that applies (mi casa es su casa), and adds flowery, flattering language to wrap it all up in. It doesn’t show any interest in the history of Latin culture, the role women, especially indigenous women, have played in physically protecting their homes and creating spiritual as well as social havens. PS – Hispanic is a term that describes people who speak Spanish, include white Spaniards – it does not include Black Latinxs such as Brazilian or many Puerto Ricans.

    • Victoria September 15, 2017

      Hi! Thank you so much for giving feedback. I grew up in Honduras, so please know the intentions were to commemorate the values I learned under the care of my personal family. By no means was I wanting to disregard certain aspects to the beautiful history of our culture. I appreciate you sharing your perspective!

    • Anonymous September 16, 2017

      I have to agree with you. I felt this was very generalized and lacked interest in true culture.

      • Victoria September 16, 2017

        I’m sorry you felt that way. Again, the purpose of the article was to commemorate personal experience within my own Hispanic home. Thank you for at least taking the time to read it and for expressing your view.

  • I love their little rules on hosting! I love that they pay attention to the decor of the home. It really adds so much to the ambience!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

    • Victoria September 15, 2017

      Charmaine, I always love reading your feedback. Thanks so much for reading! Our culture definitely gives so much insight into the art of serving others. I am so grateful to have grown up in a Hispanic home.

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