Parties hosted by Latinos are actually probably the most fun anyone can have, especially if spiked with songs by Banda El Recodo and Marc Anthony… and some tequila and rón. Nuestras fiestas are loud, with tons of chisme at every corner, so always keep an eye out for your tía Mari who’s always about to sneakily share some top-secret information.

Latino parties are hilarious, fun and usually end with you dancing “Obsesión” by Aventura with the S.O. you brought with you, or maybe even your primo or tía. All the while eating a pastelito de guayaba or un taco al pastor if you’re lucky. That being said, there are a few things to watch out for at any Latino party: travesuras that we almost can’t live with, but also can’t live without. 

Loading the player...

1. Latino parties always start late… very late

Even if the party officially starts at 3 P.M., people will get there at around 5 p.m. — or even 6 p.m. In fact, if you dare get there just around half an hour late, you’ll be the first to arrive and will probably be asked to artfully place the croquetas and empanadas on the snack table.

2. You will leave the party feeling as stuffed as a chile relleno

Now, about the food: first of all, there will be so much food that you will die and go to pastelito heaven. There’s a catch though. Even if you’re full and really can’t take even one more grain of rice, your tías and abuelas won’t rest until you eat at least three servings of their arroz con pollo. If not, it’s blasphemy… or just rude. Well, then!

3. It wouldn’t be a Latino party without leftovers

Another thing about Latino parties no one talks about enough? Whether you’re the guest of honor or just happen to sneak your way in as the cousin of a cousin’s friend, you’ll still end up with a hefty portion of leftover food to take home — and yes, that barbacoa is even better the next day.

4. And then there’s the drinking

Latino parties aren’t just about the food — nope, they’re also very much about the drinking (yasss!). Be prepared to find coolers upon coolers full of beer, plus pretty exorbitant amounts of tequila, rón and whiskey. Seems normal enough, but this was also standard at pretty much every childhood birthday party we ever had. ¡Salud! 

5. Are Latino parties ever inside the house? Doubtful

We’ll never truly understand why, but every Latino party we’ve ever been to has been held outdoors, usually in the backyard. Then again, outdoor parties are so much more fun: a beautiful sunset, a nice breeze, oh and of course all those water guns your nephews keep spraying you with. 

6. If it happens to be a birthday, you better be good at lyrics… and if it’s your birthday, it’s about to get messy

Some people in this world sing the classic “Happy Birthday” song, blow out the candles and cut the cake. Not us. 

There are always about five songs you have to sing at any Latino birthday party, especially if there are people from different countries: you’ll probably sing “Happy Birthday,” then the translated “Cumpleaños Feliz,” maybe followed up by “Las Mañanitas” and other songs like Venezuelan-fave “Ay Que Noche Tan Preciosa” and even “Felíz, Felíz En Tu Día.” Once that’s done, if it’s your birthday, prepare for your face to be smashed into the cake.

7. And when it’s time to leave, get ready to flex your “adiós” muscles

Legend has it that non-Latino parties actually allow you to leave without saying goodbye to every single person at the gathering. That being said, we definitely can’t relate. Who else knows the feeling of almost escaping saying “bye,” only to be caught by your mom’s side-eye? Time to personally give a kiss on the cheek to everyone at the party, and leave at least one hour later.