Culture

11 Songs Latinos Play During Christmas Season

Christmas is a holiday that is celebrated in a multitude of ways throughout the world.  It is invaluable to keep traditions alive in all cultures.  While many Latino cultures celebrate the holidays in unique manners, they all carry the same message.  And, what could be more important in sharing those values than sharing in some great holiday music.

While there are some classic Spanish numbers that have become a necessity for anyone’s playlist, we decided it would be great to have a list of songs that can help you spread the Christmas cheer this winter.  So cozy up with the family, and get in the spirit of the season with these classics.

La Sonora Matancera w/ Celia Cruz – “Campanas de Navidad”

Instagram @Christmas4you1

What’s it About –

This is a translated version of the all-time classic Jingle Bells.  Originally written in English in the 1800s, the theme is timeless.  There is a spirit of joy to the song that speaks on riding in a sleigh and listening to the bells ring through the snow.

What Makes it Great –

There are quite a number of translations for all sorts of Christmas carols.  However, this recording from a young Celia Cruz in 1958 has become a classic and adds a dancing feel to any Cuban Christmas.  One of the most popular holiday songs in the world deserved this peppy version.

Jenni Rivera – “Amarga Navidad”

Instagram @Christmas4you1

What’s it About –

While it may not be as upbeat as most Christmas songs, Amarga Navidad is still a classic in its own right.  The theme is about a woman who is asking her partner to leave on Christmas Eve.  Though it may sound depressing, there is the idea of getting ready for a new year with a better life.

What Makes it Great –

Christmas can bring up many emotions, and Jenni Rivera’s bitter holiday ballad isn’t afraid to touch on some of the more difficult feelings.  Breaking the seasonal blues can be tough so a song that hits as hard as this can be therapeutic.

Luis Aguile – “Ven a Mi Casa Esta Navidad”

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What’s it About –

Ven a mi casa Esta Navidad translates to English as “Come to my house this Christmas”.  The song does not speak to any one person in particular but is more of an open message that nobody should be alone on the holidays.  It is about opening your doors to anybody that could use a little company and a friend.

What Makes it Great –

Luis Aguile was more than just a singer and songwriter, he helped to define Latino culture for many of those in Central and Southern America.  Ven a Mi Casa Esta Navidad has become an anthem for the holidays and has been re-recorded by many popular artists throughout the years.

Juanes – “Mi Burrito Sabenero”

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What’s it About –

Burritos may be a standard staple in Mexican cuisine, however, that is not what this song is about.  Burrito actually means ‘little donkey’ and the lyrics are about a rider encouraging his donkey to make it to Bethlehem as fast as he can.

What Makes it Great –

The song has a few different titles and has been a staple for many generations in Latino culture.  However, the recording that Juanes performed in 2006 has quickly become one of the most popular.  There shouldn’t be any Latino Christmas playlist without this poppy rendition.

Felix Del Rosario – “Alegre Vengo”

Instagram @Christmas4you1

What’s it About –

Alegre Vengo, or Happy to Come, is a traditional Puerto Rican Christmas carol.  In Puerto Rica, Christmas Eve is a big party and everyone rejoices in the holiday together.  So, this song is about the joy of bringing everyone together and the fun that it brings.

What Makes it Great –

Any song that has stood the test of time as this one has deserves to be recognized as a classic.  The recording that Felix Del Rosario made in the ’90s helped to bring the traditional song into a modern age and has been a winter anthem since.

Los Toribianitos – “Canta, Rie, Bebe”

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What’s It About –

Singing, laughing, and drinking.  This song is all about Christmas Eve when everybody should be having a great time.  And, what could be better for any Latino family than singing, laughing and drinking.

What Makes it Great –

This song has been an essential Christmas song in Spain for a long time.  It is these types of traditions that need to be cherished in an ever-changing society.  Being performed by a choir brings back the sense of community and spirit that this song is all about.

Willie Colon and Hector Lavoe – “La Murga”

Instagram @Christmas4you1

What’s It About –

At first, La Murga may not seem like a Christmas song, which is because it is more connected with Carnival, which is still a part of the festive season.  This song is still a great salsa anthem all year round even for being almost 50 years old.

What Makes it Great –

Nobody will argue that La Murga has one of the greatest trombone openings of any song ever.  If you want a Latin song that you can dance to these holidays than look no further.  This is a classic that is still a solid jam for any playlist.

Pandora – “Los Peces en el Rio”

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What’s It About –

Los Peces en el Rio is another traditional Spanish holiday carol.  This one is pretty heavy on the religious end, but if that is your thing then this is an important song that will probably take you back to childhood.

What Makes it Great –

If you want to make a traditional song even better, you let a pop band trio like Pandora make their own rendition.  The ’80s were a wild time for all music, but this Christmas song has stood the test of time.

Andrea Boccelli – “Navidad Blanca”

Instagram @Christmas4you1

What’s it About –

Another traditionally English Christmas song, White Christmas was written by Bing Crosby in the 1950s.  It is about the purity and warmth of the holidays and spending it with the people that mean the most to you.

What Makes it Great –

Andrea Boccelli is famous for having a voice that could make any song great.  For him to take a classic song such as this and add his own flare was destined to be memorable.  If you want to feel that rich Christmas spirit then throw this song on.

Alejandro Sanz – “Noche de Luz”

Instagram @Christmas4you1

What’s It About –

Noche de Luz, or Night of Light, is all about that warmth that we all feel the night of Christmas Eve.  This soulful song adds a depth to the holiday season that can bring you in touch with all of those richest feelings.

What Makes it Great –

The Spanish pop star Alejandro Sanz really lets it out with this Christmas song.  Adding a flare of Flamenco and being supported by backup singers and an orchestra, this is a full, well-rounded song for the season of joy.

José Feliciano – “Feliz Navidad”

Instagram @Christmas4you1

What’s It About –

Pure Christmas happiness and well wishes.  This is the Latino Christmas song to end all Latino Christmas songs.

What Makes it Great –

Well, it may just be one of the greatest Christmas songs written in any language.  First performed in 1970, people are singing this song in all corners of the world every holiday season.

El Paso Widower Who Invited Everyone To His Wife’s Funeral Donates Thousands Of Flowers To Honor All 22 Victims Of The El Paso Massacre

Things That Matter

El Paso Widower Who Invited Everyone To His Wife’s Funeral Donates Thousands Of Flowers To Honor All 22 Victims Of The El Paso Massacre

@brie_san11 / Twitter

It’s been a little over two weeks since a terrorist upended lives when he attacked an El Paso Walmart, killing 22 people. Since then, there has been an outpouring of grief and pain but along with it a community banding together amid an outpouring of support. 

Over the weekend, that cycle of grief and support continued as many of the remaining victims were finally laid to rest. 

One El Paso funeral home director put together the ultimate send off for all 22 victims, organizing a caravan of hearses that convened at the makeshift memorial. 

Twenty-two hearses carried flowers to the makeshift memorial outside Walmart.

Perches, who organized the funeral for an El Paso widower who made headlines when he invited the entire city to his wife’s service, reached out to other area funeral homes to organize 22 hearses — one for each person killed — to deliver flowers to the makeshift memorial at Walmart, which has become a place to mourn and remember. One final procession.

On Sunday, the hearses left La Paz and followed a police escort for the five mile procession to the memorial.

There were so many flowers at La Paz that it took nearly an hour for about 100 volunteers to load the hearses.

The flowers were donated from the El Paso widower made famous when he invited the entire city to his wife’s funeral.

There were 22 hearses, representing the 22 victims of the shooting, that carried more than 1,000 floral arrangements sent by people around the world for Margie Reckard’s funeral service and burial — which were held on Friday night and Saturday.

Salvador Perches told local ABC affiliate KVIA, “I spoke with (Reckard’s) husband about the idea, and he felt this would be a fitting tribute to his wife and to the other victims,” Perches said. “Contact was then made to all of the other participating funeral homes and all of them agreed that this can serve as a gesture of unity and a sense of closure for all of the funerals that happened from this tragedy.”

People who saw the caravan pass by took to social media to share their emotions.

Cars stopped in both directions as the 22 hearses passed. People captured the moment on cell phones. Some held small American flags and removed their hats.

“I just got chills,” Sunset Funeral Homes Director Christopher Lujan told CNN in an interview. “Seeing 22 hearses is just unbelievable.”

The hearses unloaded the flowers at the makeshift memorial site outside the Walmart where the attack took place.

The makeshift memorial at Walmart sprang up a day after the shooting. People have gathered to pray and sing amid the candles, rosaries and white crosses with handwritten names of the dead.

Funeral directors invited mourners at the memorial site to unload the arrangements. They took the flowers and arranged them around the crosses. “Everybody wanted to participate in one way or another,” said Gomez, who runs the social services non-profit Operation H.O.P.E., in an interview with CNN.

Victims Of The El Paso Massacre Received Visits From Edward James Olmos And George López And Their Reactions Are Everything

Entertainment

Victims Of The El Paso Massacre Received Visits From Edward James Olmos And George López And Their Reactions Are Everything

@edwardjolmos / Twitter

It’s been two weeks to the day since a white supremacist traveled 10 hours to target Latino shoppers at an El Paso Walmart, leaving 22 dead and injured another 25 people. One patient remains in critical condition while another four are stable, but still hospitalized at El Paso’s University Medical Center. A surprise visit from Stand and Deliver star Edward James Olmos and comedian George Lopez certainly caused a positive flurry of emotion in hospital staff and survivors.

El Paso Times reports that there was no live media coverage of their visit, as it was not publicized and took everyone by surprise. The two spent hours just talking to survivors, families of those who did not survive and hospital staff.

“It was a real emotional experience all around,” UMC spokesman Ryan Mielke told El Paso Times. “They just wanted to meet with patients and staff.”

Olmos posted a photo to his Twitter with one of the survivors and her family.

@edwardjolmos / Twitter

“Celebrating life with the survivors of El Paso,” tweeted Mexicano actor Edward J Olmos. “Find a way of helping and uniting with the families of those that lost family members and survivors and their families of Dayton and El Paso.  Find ways of helping!”

Olmos and Lopez were gifted surgical caps signed by all the hospital staff that treated victims that fateful August 3rd.

@umcelpaso / Twitter

“The surgery caps worn by Lopez and Olmos were signed by all the members of UMC’s Emergency Department who were on hand August 3rd after a mass causality shooting in El Paso,” tweeted UMC El Paso. “Their visit today brought smiles and relief to recovering victims and their families.”

Mielke said the Hollywood stars pulled up a chair next to the survivors and listened to them for hours.

@FraireLibrado / Twitter

UMC hospital nurse Priscilla Fraire smiled big to get a selfie in with Lopez and Olmos. Her mom even tweeted out her thanks to the actors, saying, “Thanks George and Edward for caring about our community. #ElPasoStrong #ThankYou”

“Thank you for all you do for our Raza,” tweets a fan named Debbie Lopez Contreras. “I truly appreciate you and all your hard work to make this world a better place. Much  to you and yours”

The El Paso Pride is certainly stronger than ever.

@leon47150662 / Twitter

“Put a firmeza en El Chuco Tejas love my town 915 por vida,” one fan responds to Olmos’ tweet. “Let’s hear it for the good guys,” tweets Liz Perez in response to a comment that wonders why “hospitalized victims of the racist GOP terrorist mass murderer welcomed their visits and adamantly refused to see trump and the missus.”

“Thank you for going to my beloved hometown, Mr. Olmos!” tweets another El Pasoan. “A beautiful, compassionate and wonderful city with people on both sides of the border with our Sister City Ciudad Juarez! You are amazing, as always <3” El Paso is strong because of its Latinos, holding up other Latinos, por siempre.

This hospital staffer expressed gratitude for Olmos’ empathy for El Paso.

@CynthiaTitimtz / Twitter

“Greatly appreciate you for taking the time to come visit my city #ElPaso,” tweeted Cynthia Martinez. “It was a real pleasure to meet you. Thank you for making time to come and support our city. A community that is grieving, that is hurting.” 

“There were lines of nurses and it was chaotic.”

@MikaHayashi9 / Twitter

“They were really friendly,” 23-year-old nursing student Oseleonoleme told El Paso Times. “There were lines of nurses and it was chaotic.”

That chaos led to some staffers missing out on the photo op, and others delighting their daughters who later tweeted the above photo with the caption, “My dad works at UMC El Paso and he sent me this picture today!”

Forever, we honor the victims from the El Paso shooting. 

Andre Anchado / Facebook
  • Jordan Anchondo
  • Andre Anchondo
  • Arturo Benavides
  • Javier Rodriguez
  • Sara Esther Regalado Moriel
  • Adolfo Cerros Hernández 
  • Gloria Irma Marquez
  • María Eugenia Legarreta Rothe
  • Ivan Manzano
  • Juan de Dios Velázquez Chairez
  • David Johnson
  • Leonardo Campos Jr. 
  • Maribel Campos (Loya)
  • Angelina Silva-Englisbee
  • Maria Flores
  • Raul Flores
  • Jorge Calvillo Garcia
  • Alexander Gerhard Hoffman
  • Teresa Sanchez
  • Margie Reckard
  • Elsa Libera Marquez
  • Luis Alfonzo Juarez

Rest in Power.

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