As for language, it’s easy to think that all Latinos understand one another because we speak Spanish. But on more than one occasion I have said words that are completely normal in Venezuela, but in Mexico and other Spanish-speaking countries could start a fight.
Asking for something as simple as a straw in a restuarant can be challenging for Latinos. While I would use the word “pitillo,” a Mexican would request a “popote,” a Costa Rican would say “pajilla,” a Puerto Rican would ask for a “sorbeto,” and a Cuban would use the expression “absorbente.”
Movie theater popcorn would be “crispetas” for a Colombian, “poporopos” for a Guatemalan, “pochoclo” for an Argentine, “palomitas de maíz” for someone from El Salvador or Honduras, “kankil” for those from Ecuador, or “canchitas” for Peruvians.
“Latinos are Democrats, Republicans or Independents. We are Christians, Muslims or Jews. We are Hispanics, Latinos, Chicanos or Mexican-Americans. We are straight or gay. But we are the same community, and that is something very positive,” explained Luis Torres, director of Policy and Legislation for the League of United Latin American Citizens, in an interview with Spanish news agency, Agencia EFE.
Even though we have our differences, here in the United States we are a single and united community who proudly celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month from Sept. 15 until Oct. 15.