Things That Matter

9 Ways to Give Back to the Latino Community During the Holidays (That Don’t All Involve Money)

We’re all in the spirit of giving back this holiday season and it doesn’t always have to mean giving financially. With a little creativity (and a browse through the list below), you’ll have more ideas than you can count to make you excited about playing a role in the good of the world.

1. Get your tequila from Mexican brands.

The holidays mean cheers and toasts will be had. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a celebratory shot of tequila? And because tequila and mezcal come from Mexico, it’s important we make it a point to buy these spirits from Mexican brands, such as La Gritona which is Latina-owned and employs women at their distillery in Jalisco. 

2. Donate to organizations that support the Latinx community.

If you do actually have the money to spend and would like to put it to good use, donate to organizations that help the Latinx community on different issues we face. Here are a few. 

  • United We Dream
    • This organization is the largest immigrant youth-led community in the U.S. that works to support immigrant youth and provide safe spaces for them. Recently, they launched a zine to support and honor immigrant artists and writers.
  • Green Latinos 
    • An organization that focuses on addressing national, regional and local environmental and conservation issues that significantly affect the health and welfare of the Latinx community.
  • UnidosUS
    • The nation’s largest Latino civil rights and advocacy organization that focuses on efforts, small and large, across the U.S. and Puerto Rico. 

3. Volunteer to be a child advocate. 

The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights is currently taking volunteers to become a child advocate. Child advocates help immigrant youth going through deportation proceedings in different locations around the U.S., and ensure they are treated fairly in the process of migration.

4. Sponsor a child in Latin America.

For $30, you can provide food, clothing and an education to a child living in the U.S. or overseas. This process is similar to donating, but sponsorship also provides the opportunity to build a relationship between a sponsor and child, which is a beautiful component of this particular way of giving back.

5. Connect with a pen pal in detention centers.

Writing letters to those in immigrant detention centers is an easy way to show support that also builds compassion and understanding for those going through an intimidating and oftentimes lonely process. There are multiple nonprofits that support these pen pal programs across the country. 

6. Offer your bilingual skills.

Some groups and organizations such as the Latino Community Association take volunteers or hire bilingual individuals to help folks navigate the immigration processes by translating. They also help families get through government paperwork to find employment.  

7. Take a tour with meaning. 

Instead of your average tourism tour, opt for a tour using a feminist city guide. These types of tours are educational and informative. They are given from a different perspective, centering on stories of women and the LGBTQ+ community.

8. Support local food vendors and food trucks.

It’s no surprise food is a big part of the Latinx community, as it is a way to express love and passion, and also to unite with family and friends. If you go out for food, go to your local food trucks and vendors this season, especially the Latinx-owned trucks serving up finger-licking Latinx flair foods. If you know of someone selling tamales, buy from them instead of corporate catering. Most food vendors rely directly on sales to provide even during the holidays. 

9. Do your grocery shopping at the local mercado.

There are a number of Hispanic supermarkets around the U.S. These markets usually partner with other local farms and brands to make sure the products are fresh and authentic, while also providing foods Latinxs love to eat at home. From making tortillas to cutting up meat, you’re guaranteed to buy groceries that have been treated with care. Most of these markets also tend to give food to those and in need.

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