San Blas Festivity in Paraguay

While there may be a handful of worthwhile festivals held in Paraguay on an annual basis, none have more of a history or religious significance than Dia de San Blas. The San Blas festivity in Paraguay is rooted in Christian origins from a faraway land; Armenia.

Even if you know nothing about the patron saint himself, if you find yourself in Paraguay during the first few days of February, you are sure to be enveloped in lively festivities including parades, music and food.

The History of Saint Blaise

Depending on who you talk to about this martyred saint, you will hear his name pronounced as Saint Blaise in English and San Blas in Spanish. Since this is an English speaking blog we will refer to him by his English name.

Saint Blaise was a Bishop in the Armenian Roman Catholic Church but he was also a physician. It is purported that his main area of medical expertise was afflictions of the throat. People would come to him from all over Armenia and neighboring countries so that he could treat their physical as well as their spiritual ailments.

As his fame spread, many miracles were also credited to him. Saint Blaise continued to serve his people but in the year 316, he was jailed and executed by order of an Armenian governor who was acting at the behest of the emperor Licinius. Apparently Licinius, much like other Roman emperors of the time were keen on killing Christians.

While you can kill a man you cannot kill the impressions and influences he made in his life and that is why a day is set aside every year to honor this Saint in countries all over the world from Eastern Europe to South America.  Not surprisingly one of the grandest and most decadent Saint Blaise celebrations are held every year on February 3rd in Paraguay.

The Paraguayan San Blas Festival

The history of San Blas day is as much a part of the celebration as the festivities themselves. After all, this is a religious holiday and many devout Catholics consider this day one of the holiest of the year.

If you do plan to be in Paraguay in early February head to Ciudad del Este where the biggest and brashest San Blas festival is held.

Since Saint Blaise was a physician specializing in ailments of the throat, the San Blas festivity in Paraguay begins with the blessing of the throat by ranking clergymen. Once your throat has been blessed, you can begin filling it with delicious Paraguayan cuisine. Food is a huge part of the San Blas festivity in Paraguay so be sure to leave plenty of room in your stomach for delectable dishes.

In Ciudad del Este lies the Cathedral of Saint Blaise and it is form this cathedral that much of the festivities emanate. There are parades held in his honor that are made to depict some of his more notable acts as a Bishop and leader in the Christian community in Armenia.

San Blas festivity in Paraguay

San Blas Festivity in Paraguay

While the actual Dia de San Blas falls on February 3rd, the San Blas festivity in Paraguay is a week-long festival. In addition to magnificent parades, specialty foods and religious rites, you will hear much traditional Paraguayan music and songs that commemorate this beloved patron saint of the country.

The San Blas festivity in Paraguay should surely be on your list of Hispanic festivals to experience and to find out more about the exciting festivals that Latin America has to offer check out my article on Hispanic holidays.

Burning the Muñeco: A New Year’s Celebration in Peru

Even for those of us blessed with good health and happiness, sometimes there are those years.  Hard years, challenging years – years that make the celebration of New Year’s Eve something particularly meaningful. If this has been one of those years for you, you might try a trip to Peru, where their tradition of Burning the Muñeco (Doll) is a visual representation of the change from the old year to the new one.

Peruvians burn the muñeco in the New Year’s celebration.  This doll is similar to a scarecrow or an effigy, and can, in fact, be considered an effigy of the Old Year.

The muñeco dresses in rags or is made with paper, and totally filled with flammable material or sometimes fireworks.  At midnight it is set on fire on New Year’s Eve.

Although some still make them at home, these days, many stores sell them commercially.

New Year’s Celebration in Peru and Burning the Muñeco

Many countries practice this tradition throughout South America and parts of Mexico.

This tradition is yet another example of religious syncretism, or a combination of different cultures into one belief system, common in Hispanic religion due to the influence of the Spanish.

Also a tradition in parts of the Old World, the burning of the Año Viejo is considered to have come from pagan rituals in Europe.

The burning of the muñeco is at its most basic a real-world representation of the common desire that most people have to leave bad events of the year in the past and to start the New Year with a positive attitude.

Different Kinds of Muñecos

Muñeco waiting to be used.

Muñeco waiting to be used.

One of the unique aspects of the New Year’s celebration in Peru is that muñecos often deal with current events, both local and national. For example, you can find politicians and famous Peruvian celebrities on store-bought muñecos, depending on what has happened in the country during the year.

Communities will also have figures of famous (or infamous) locals. Interestingly, many muñecos are actually based on respected or popular figures, not just those with negative opinions.

Muñecos and Waquis in Parco

As with most traditions, there are regional differences. One of the more well-known places they celebrate by burning el muñeco in Peru is in the District of Parco, in central Peru about four hours from Lima. In this Andean region, inhabitants accompany the muñeco by waquis, dancers that represent the Old Year as locals bid it goodbye.

The waquis dress in rags, with tattered hats and sandals, wearing wooden masks expressing different emotions. Each dancer plays a role in this representation of the old year, and the dances demonstrate the pain the year feels at having to leave.

With handmade rattles and more modern instruments, the parade plays songs with the Andean rhythm huayno. They also play the fool to the amusement of the town residents, hiding their “pain” with clowning and mocking of those in attendance.

In this area, the celebration goes very late. The “quema del muñeco” actually takes place in the early hours of January 1, after musicians and the waqui dancers traverse the different streets of the area waking up residents, who say goodbye to this representation of the year from their doorways.

Residents soon make their way to the plaza, where the giant Muñeco is waiting. The party continues from there, with traditional food and drinks and a celebration that last until the wee hours.

The New Year’s celebration in Peru and other countries is a vivid representation of how ancient traditions have survived through history and how they continue to be culturally relevant today.

Burning of the muñeco is part of good Peruvian Christmas traditions, because no matter how you celebrate the holidays, everyone wants to have a happy New Year.

Would you like to burn away the old year? Tell us about it in the comments!

El Halloween in Latin America

El Halloween in Latin America undoubtedly came from the strong influence North America and specially the U.S. has always exerted on our Latin countries.  If we look back at where all started, Halloween or All Hallows Eve has ancient roots stretching back to the times of the Druids, when people believed evil spirits roamed the earth on October 31 and had to be collected by the Lord of Darkness, Lord Samhain.

Over the centuries the holiday transformed into a much more commercial event more about cheap thrills than any real spiritual connection to the world of the dead. Like many aspects of American culture, the American version of Halloween has spread to many other countries, including Hispanic ones.

Today, we widely celebrate Halloween in Latin America as an excuse for a party in many major cities, though communities in the countryside largely ignore Halloween in favor of All Saints Day, I guess because of our Roman Catholic background that stemmed from the conquest.

Halloween in Latin America

If you’re looking to experience Halloween in South America, get ready to find Halloween parties in bars and clubs from Argentina to Colombia. In Peru Halloween has to compete with a Creole music event, so Peruvians don’t widely celebrate it even in the cities, but you can always find an expat bar with a few plastic pumpkins and a costume party.

Chileans call call Halloween la Noche de Brujas and Bolivians call it El Jailonween in reference to the wealthy expat Jailon Paceños that popularized it. But perhaps no other country knows how to throw a Hispanic Halloween like Colombia.

Halloween in Latin America – Main Aspects of Halloween in Colombia

Costumes: Adults and children wear costumes on the day and night of Halloween. Many adults even wear their costumes to work in offices and stores. For children, the costumes tend to be more fun than scary. You’ll see a lot of superheroes, cartoon characters, princesses, pirates, etc. but probably no vampires or soldiers. You’ll notice one major difference from the American sort of Halloween costumes in that not many in Colombia have their entire face covered with a mask.

School Activities: Most schools celebrate Halloween with special events that parents are encouraged to attend. For example there might be a Halloween play or a costume parade with the parents as judges for awards like “best costume.”

Halloween in Latin America

Kids typically also get to enjoy special Halloween treats including candy and baked goods, and teachers often decorate their rooms with all the traditional symbols of Halloween like ghosts, spiders, witches, and jack-o-lanterns.

Trick or Treating: Parents do take their costumed children trick or treating for Halloween in Colombia. The kids call “tricky tricky Halloween” and receive candy from their neighbors. Families that don’t have a nice neighborhood to trick or treat in go to malls and shopping centers in the early evening, where a special trick or treat session takes place with the kids going around to each store and receiving candy.

Parties: Of course no Halloween in Latin America would be complete without a party. In Colombia, you will see the somewhat surprising sight of costumed people dancing to Salsa, either in the bars and clubs or in individual families’ homes.

Celebrating Halloween in Latin America can be very similar to that of the US however, we mix in our traditions when partying and enjoying the foods.  We celebrate with lots of candy and costumes but if we can throw in tamales, picada, and some delicious drinks like coke and rum, guaro and tequila it all improves.

Why We Need to Celebrate Father’s Day Amongst Latinos

Why do we need to celebrate Father’s Day Amongst Latinos?  Let’s start Sometimes, people think that Latino dads don’t measure up to mainstream American dads because they seem less involved in childcare tasks. However, in reality Latino dads do play a very important role in their children’s lives—they just do it in a different way.

Why We Need to Celebrate Father’s Day Amongst Latinos?  Whether the dad in your family acts like a traditional macho Latino dad or one of the newer breed of Americanized Latino dads, he deserves to be celebrated, especially on Father’s Day.

Traditional Vs Americanized Latino Dads

A very strong bond cements the different generations of a traditional Latino family together. Everyone works hard to support one another. Fathers, as well as padrinos and compadres, play an important role in the family dynamic as the main breadwinners and as pillars of strength and machismo.

Women typically play the role of caretaker, with cooking, cleaning, and childcare considered their responsibility even if they work outside the home too.  But when Latino families come to the US, often this family structure begins to fall apart.

According to the article “Family dynamics: Do Latino fathers pull their weight?” published in Latinize MSN, part of the issue is that the support network for the family shrinks if only the nuclear family immigrates.

Another issue is that economic conditions in the US are different, and it is much more difficult for families to afford hired help. This means that Latino dads become pressured to help with childcare tasks that they may have been raised to consider “women’s work.”

Some dads adjust and take on a more Americanized role where they change diapers, give baths, and feed babies, while other dads maintain their traditional view and prefer to stick to playing with their kids when they’re young and teaching them important life lessons and values as they grow older.

In either case, the interaction with a father is priceless and should be celebrated. This is exactly why we have to have Father’s Day amongst Latinos!

Father’s Day Amongst Latinos – Latino Dad Statistics

According to a poll from the National Center for Fathering, nearly three-quarters of Americans believe that fatherlessness is the most worrisome social trend facing our country.

With a father’s role in a child’s life being so important, growing up without a father—or with a father who does not engage in a child’s life—presents a significant hardship.

As the following statistics from http://www.fathers.com suggest, Latino families in the US may be at particular risk for this problem, especially during the first generation.

  1. Only 45 percent of Latino dads help with daily tasks like bathing, diapering, and dressing, compared to 60 percent of white dads.
  2. First generation Latino dads are less likely to share caretaking tasks than second generation dads.
  3. Only 22 percent of Latino dads read to their young kids every day, compared to 30 percent of white dads.
  4. US-born Latino dads and American dads are equally likely to participate in their kids’ school activities.
  5. 31.2 percent of Hispanic children don’t live with their biological fathers, compared to 20.7 percent of white children.
  6. 26.3 percent of Hispanic children live with a single mom, compared to 18.3 percent of white children.
  7. 65 percent of Latinas believe they are a better parent than their partner.

Celebrating Father’s Day Amongst Latinos

Recognizing the contributions of all Latino dads—no matter how they choose to show their affection for and interest in their kids—helps keep our families strong.

Father’s Day serves as an excellent opportunity to make Dad feel appreciated. With a few exceptions, Father’s Day amongst Latinos takes place on the same day it does in the US, namely the 3rd Sunday in June. Take care to make this truly Dad’s day, with gifts and activities that celebrate Dad as a person and recognize his unique bond with his children.

Calle Ocho Festival for Artists In 2014

Music, food, and dance made Cuban culture famous, but plenty of other art forms flourish among the Cubanos in downtown Miami. To get a complete picture of the Cuban arts scene head to Calle Ocho 2014 and experience the sights, sounds, and flavors for yourself.

What is Calle Ocho 2014?

At Calle Ocho 2014 you will experience the biggest block party in Miami: a day of music, dancing, food and fun spread out along 23 blocks of 8th Street or “Calle Ocho” in downtown Miami.

When it comes to Calle Ocho’s meaning, you have to understand the Catholic tradition of Carnaval and Lent. Basically, the Calle Ocho party represents one last chance to indulge the senses and party til you drop before beginning the sacrifices and denials of Lent.   carnaval-miami-2014Today the Calle Ocho festival has expanded to cover more than just one day of partying, so don’t miss the numerous community events leading up to the main party in the weeks before March 9, 2014.

Viernes Culturales at La Calle Ocho

If you really want to see artists at work make sure you attend a cultural Friday at Little Havana. Every last Friday of every month, and especially the Friday of the Calle Ocho Festival, hundreds of Latino artists congregate in four blocks on SW 8th Street between 17th & 13th Avenue from 7PM – 11PM.

When visiting on February 28th try to fit a free walking tour of the area by Dr. Paul George. This tour focuses on the historic Conch Hill Neighborhood and starts at 7pm.

Discover works by the local artists around Domino Plaza and take the time to go in the many fine art galleries along Calle Ocho. Viernes Culturales operates through private donations as it works as a 501 non-for –profit organization.

Young Artists 12-17 Can Enter the Artist Contest

If you are a young artist looking to show your artwork and talent this is a perfect opportunity.  You can submit the “Enter the Artist Contest Form” and participate.  Go to Carnaval Miami page and see more about it. There is a PDF form you can download and fill out. There are no explicit deadlines to submit so take advantage!

Beside the artist contest there are many artist who separate a booth and participate.  The Carnaval separated them by Fine Arts Village and Craft Village.  There is a complete list posted on their website.

Don’t Miss Carnaval on the Mile

A must-see event of Calle Ocho for artists, Carnaval on the Mile offers excellent opportunities to get inspired by other artists’ works, buy and sell art, network with artists and gallery owners, or display your own works if you become accepted as a vendor for 2014.

Carnaval on the Mile takes place the weekend before the Calle Ocho festival in Miami, providing the chance to immerse yourself in south Florida’s fine arts scene before the big party.

On March 1 & 2 of 2014, over 120 local artists will set up their booths along a mile-long section of Coral Way, showcasing a rich variety of paintings, sculpture, photography, jewelry, and crafts.

Browse at your leisure while snacking on delicious Cuban foods and listing to the diverse musical stylings of 36 different musical groups performing on the event’s 3 stages. Be sure to view works by some of the featured Cuban-American painters like Humberto Benitez and Gilda Sacasas.

Get to this part of Calle Ocho for artists early, pick up an event schedule, and plan your day out or you’ll never see everything! You may want to devote one day to the “Fine Artist Village” and one day to the “Crafts Village” to help you fit everything in.
Calle Ocho with Kids

Unlike America’s other famous Carnaval party, Mardi Gras, the Calle Ocho Festival offers lots of kids’ activities and has a very family-friendly vibe. Check out the special Children’s Festival, a section of Calle Ocho packed with fun stuff just for the little ones.

Don’t forget to bring sunscreen and water for the kids—even in March Miami gets very hot and sunny. Don’t bother to pack snacks though, as there will be plenty of delicious tidbits to try, as long as you have cash in small bills to purchase them.

What Is El Carnaval de Barranquilla

Anyone who has experienced El Carnaval de Barranquilla for themselves will tell you, no Carnival celebration on earth can compare with this one. As our Carnival’s own motto puts it, “¡Quién lo vive, es quién lo goza!” or Who lives it enjoys it!

Every year, the entire city of Barranquilla in the northern part of Colombia, gets together to put on one of the most fabulous folkloric shows on earth.

The festivities officially start on the Saturday before Ash Wednesday, but preparations begin long before, with all the locals working hard to design their own traditional costumes, build colorful parade floats, and prepare for music and dance performances.

what-is-el-carnaval-de-barranquilla

When you travel to El Carnaval de Barranquilla, you feel engulfed in the party atmosphere from the moment you step off the plane. The whole city pretty much shuts down for Carnaval so you can enjoy your vacation with a whole city of over 1 million people who are also enjoying a well-deserved break!

Barranquilla Carnival History

In its official form, Barnaquilla’s Carnival dates back to the late 1800s, with the first President of the Carnival appointed in 1899 and the first “Batalla de las Flores” or Flower Battle parade taking place in 1903.

Unofficially, the roots of El Carnaval de Baranquilla stretch back even further into the past, to the time when Spanish conquistadors and colonists arrived in Colombia.

Here their European culture melded with colorful traditions from indigenous people and African slaves, creating a unique fusion that we now celebrate with costumes, music, and dance.

One of the signature dances of the Carnaval, La Cumbia, showcases this fusion of cultures especially well, telling the story of a couple courting to the music of a traditional drum and flute.

With so much richness and diversity in the Barranquilla Carnival history, it’s no surprise that this celebration became a UNESCO “Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity” in 2003.

The carnival reunites cultural samples of about 50 small towns around Barranquilla and the Magdalena river which doesn’t run as a company but as a community affair. 

The carnival grew spontaneously adding as the time passed acting, a space for designers to show their creativity, dances and comedy. 

The last Tuesday of the carnival is the Pagan Party, and that day we celebrate by making faces or “muecas” and mourning the death of Joselito Carnaval. 

Joselito was a horse carriage driver that pretended to have died on a Tuesday and his friends took him around town as a joke.  Then three years later he really died on a Tuesday, and his drunk friends took him around town like they had done three years before.  At the time this was a scandal, and later on this joke became the closure of the Barranquilla Carnaval.

Main Events of El Carnaval de Barranquilla

Before Carnival begins, we must have the Lectura del Bando, or the reading of a proclamation declaring that everyone MUST dance and have fun during the coming days. Then, we’re ready to experience the main events of Carnival:

La Batalla de Las Flores: Originally organized by a General to symbolize Colombia’s desire for peace and unity, this parade takes place on Saturday and consists of nearly 6 action-packed hours of floats, dancers, and costumed revelers.

Be on the lookout for traditional characters like the Carnival Queen, Rey Momo, María Monitas, and Hombre Caimán, as well as many people dressed as marimondas. The marimondas costume features a hood and a big nose, and locals take priding wearing it as the only Carnival costume to have originated in Colombia.

The Grand Parade: Held on Sunday, this parade doesn’t have floats, but instead has troop after troop of folk dancers wearing masks and disguises. The different dance groups compete against one another during the parade for the honor of participating in the Batalla de las Flores or Flowers’ Battle next year.

The Funeral of Joselito Carnaval: On the last day of Carnaval, we mourn the “death” of Joselito Carnaval, a traditional character who literally parties until he drops. When we say goodbye to Joselito, we also say goodbye to the joy of Carnaval and its earthly pleasures in preparation for the abstinences of Lent.

If You Visit for Carnival in Barranquilla

There’s still time to plan to travel to el Carnaval de Barranquilla!  Just a few short hours by plane from Miami and you can be here.   

When traveling to Barranquilla plan on bringing airy and cotton made clothes because the weather is hot and sticky, about 85 F or 32C.  

But you do need to start planning soon—with thousands of visitors coming to the city tickets and accommodations will get harder to come by as the Carnival season approaches.

The Meaning of the Three Kings Gifts

Thinking about the meaning of the Three Kings gifts my memory starts traveling back to growing up in Colombia.  I remember January 6 as a Día de Reyes, not because we celebrated it in my family but because many other families celebrated and I could live vicariously through them.

My mom had a special feeling about Christmas celebrations, let me explain. She loved Christmas and we decorated the house mainly with lights on the windows, a small nativity and a tiny Christmas tree. Not a huge celebration like it was for other families, and I think it all stemmed from her growing up as an “orphan” at her grandmas home.

My father closely followed my mother’s ideas of how a Christmas should be. Interestingly enough, baby Jesus brought great presents and remained displayed the entire month of December while the Three Kings were practically packed away by December the 31sr.

My sister and I never received a present from the three wise men, although we very well knew who they were and their importance in recognizing baby Jesus as a king of a different kind. We also attended Catholic school and religious education was part of our weekly life therefore, this important trio was a very well known one to my sister and I.

I have always been puzzled by the Reyes Magos offerings, and after I moved to the U.S., I started researching who these three important figures were and the reasons for their gifts. I loved what I found, and how they played a significant role in solidifying the true meaning of the birth of “el niño Dios.”

The Magi Appear

The passage in Mathew tells the story of a night in which the star of Bethlehem guided Melchior, Caspar and Balthazar to baby Jesus’ birthplace. The star was a sign for the wise men to follow and arrive promptly with their offerings to baby Jesus.

In route, the Three Kings stopped to ask Herod if he knew the birthplace of Jesus, to which Herod responded he didn’t know and asked them if they find out to let him know. The Three kings had no idea of Herod’s intentions, and while continuing their journey an angel of God appeared warning them about Herod’s purpose: To assassinate baby Jesus.

three-kings-gifts-2

Adoración de los Reyes

Following the advice of the angel, the Three Wise Men took a different route to reach baby Jesus’ birthplace where they arrived bringing frankincense, myrrh and gold.
The bible doesn’t explain the meanings of these gifts but over time we have understood that frankincense is a symbol of holiness, myrrh is associated with suffering and gold is a symbol of kingship.

To obtain frankincense we make incisions in the bark of a tree to let it “bleed” its fragrant resin. For many years Frankincense has been the choice of burning at many churches.

Myrrh is also a product of Arabia like frankincense, and it is a spice used for embalming, making incense, perfume and medicine to reduce pain and swelling.

Myrrh also appears several times throughout the life of Jesus. When He was dying on the cross a person offered him vinegar mixed with myrrh, Jesus rejected the drink. Also, when Jesus was dead myrrh was an important element Nicodemus used for anointing Jesus’ body.

Gold is a proper gift for a king. Gold is a very precious metal even until today and it can very well signify Jesus’ kingship.

As per Frankincense and myrrh researchers at Cardiff University think the gifts could have had a practical meaning because of frankincense’s medicinal properties and myrrh’s usage as anointing oil. Who knows? The bible doesn’t mention a specific reason for the gifts.

When somebody asks me why did baby Jesus receive these three gifts I mention practical and symbolic reasons, and I let them know that for sure we can’t pinpoint the exact reasons, although they make total sense to me. Happy Three Kings Day!

Who Are Latino Dads

Gringo Dad Who Learned Tricks From Latino Fathers Picture by Marcela Hede

Gringo Dad Who Learned Tricks From Latino Fathers
Picture by Marcela Hede

Everyone knows that we, Latinos, have big, extended families and strong bonds. But maybe you’ve married into another culture, or maybe your family is separated by thousands of miles or international borders, and you’re wondering how to maintain the traditional role of a Latino father in your family.

Who Are Latino Dads Anyway?

Latino dads are basically the backbone of the family. They provide strength and security through their hard work and dedication to their families.

A Hispanic father will work an 8 hour day and then spend 8 more hours tending to the needs of his extended family. That is his responsibility, and his honor.

According to researchers Francisco A. Villarruel and Jaime Chahin in “Beyond the Myths: Paternal Values of Latino Fathers.” Michigan Family Review vol 3 no 1 (1997-98), men who are Latino dads strive to express respeto, nobleza, machismo, simpãtica, and honor.

In other words, they express respect for themselves and others, they have a sense of nobility or centeredness, they possess strength and virility, they are kind and caring towards others, and they live their lives with integrity.

Latino dads are also careful to serve as good role models for their kids. Growing up, I frequently heard my cousins fathers’ saying “Eso lo aprendí de mi padre, tu haz lo mismo para que seas un hombre de bien,” which means I learned this from my father, do the same to be a good man.

Making Father’s Day Special for Latino Men

mens-sterling-silver-jewelry
Mens Sterling Silver
Jewelry

Latin Travel
Latin Travel
for Two!

Mens Leather Bracelets
Mens Leather Bracelets

Latino Dads and Stereotypes

Trying to know who are Latino dads we should look at one common stereotype about Latino men: machismo. meaning they are puffed up with an exaggerated sense of manhood to the point of becoming sexist.

Machismo is also understood as having strength and virility. While Latino men do expect to have authority and respect from all family members, this does not mean that they think women are inferior.

Far from it -Latino fathers typically show respect and tender care for their families. They are very interested in their children’s lives, and even after a hard, long day, they will make an effort to spend a moment with each child to let them know they are loved.

In many Hispanic countries, strong fathers come to be regarded as elders of the community. They are always taking care of someone, whether it be visiting their abuela, fixing their cousin’s car, or helping their sister pay her bills.

Latino fathers also form links with other families by becoming padrinos or godparents to their friends’ children.

In some communities, a father asks for a bride’s hand on behalf of his son or nephew because while the younger man is untried or unproven, the father is respected and trusted in the community.

This lovely tradition reinforces the idea of the Latino dad as the support center of the family. He takes responsibility for caring for everyone in his extended family, including the new bride.

Nowadays, and mostly in the U.S., it is more and more common for grandfathers to step in and perform the day to day role of father because the young men are traveling for work.

Even though the young men are not physically present, they are still with their families in spirit because everything they do is for the advancement of their family.

Particularly in the U.S. we see Hispanic fathers willing to work hard and endure time away from home because they know that this is the way they can fulfill their role as provider and protector of the family.

No matter what shape or size your family is, Latino fathers can teach you a lot about how to bring the stabilizing and unifying force of Latino fatherhood into your life.

Hispanics celebrate El Día del Padre in the U.S. and in Hispanic America. This celebration is not as strong as Mother’s Day is but it is gaining more and more importance every year. I think it is in part because of the new role fathers are assuming today when mothers have a career or simply work outside their homes to help with income.