25 Experiences You Only Have When Raised By Latino Immigrant Parents

Vicks will cure everything.

1. Your parents constantly ask you if you’re eating enough.

Because if they don’t have you under their watchful eye, you are not to be trusted to properly feed yourself.

2. You grew up with these candles in your house.

3. All your tios and tias have nicknames like “Papo” or “Chela.”

You probably don’t even know the actual first name of most of your relatives.

4. Anything can, will, and has been cleaned using Fabuloso.

5. You watched El Chapulin Colorado on the weekends, and maybe even dressed up as him for Halloween.


“¡No contaban con mi astucia!”

6. You always had to have a spare jacket around otherwise you would be interrogated: “Where’s your jacket?!”

7. Your parents have been recycling everything since before recycling was cool.

Oh, you thought this was butter? NAH, more like, Menudo.

8. When Walter Mercado was on TV, you knew better than to talk because his words are golden.

Alexander Tamargo / Getty Images

9. These cans were everywhere, but none of them ever had cookies inside.

All you wanted was a cookie…

10. Spanglish is your mother tongue.

Sometimes you completely forget the right word in the right language, or stumble through both languages in the same sentence.

11. Hot sauce had a permanent spot on the dinner table.

You are so accustomed to putting it on everything and anything, that the thought of not having it feels foreign to you.

12. You have tortillas or rice with practically every meal.

13. You knew to never, ever walk around barefoot, unless you wanted to start an argument.


14. Your parents are always reminding you that they are taking care of you so you can take care of them when they get old.

15. Your friends would bring PB&Js for lunch, but your mom would wrap you last night’s leftovers instead.

But then they follow it up with…

16. Vicks is the answer to everything.

Everyone pronounces it “vics vaporu.”

17. Your parents would tell you that “La Llorona” or “El Cucuy” would come and find you if you didn’t go to sleep on time as a child.


18. You knew to never question the authority that is your mother.

ABC / Via

19. Taking trips to the panaderia was the best thing ever.


*cue nostalgic memories of delicious magic yums*

20. Your house is filled with these spice bags that included things like canela and oregano.

21. You’ve played loteria with bottlecaps or beans.

22. Your house always had a calendar like this somewhere.

They probably got it for free at church, a restaurant, or a panaderia.

23. You’ve watched Sabado Gigante so many times that you consider Don Francisco a part of the family.

Rodrigo Varela / Getty Images

He hasn’t aged since you started watching him as a child…

24. You greet every single relative with a kiss on the cheek and then again as goodbye.

This usually takes up a lot of time when you first get to a relative’s house or party. And again when you leave.

25. Every relative calls you “mijo” or “mija” even if they aren’t your parents.

And you let them, because let’s face it: You’re more proud of the family you have than anything else.

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Juan Gabriel and Walter Mercado are the unicorns of my heart. Editorial Fellow from Phoenix, AZ.
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