Latin Americans seem to value the family above everything else. In fact, many spend all their lives just trying to improve the situation for their families. From experience, when speaking with a Latin American, the majority of the time they will say that their family is what brings them the most joy or what they are most proud of. Not only do Latin Americans work to care for their families but they also work to keep their families united. They pride themselves on maintaining family values of love, affection, hard work, and respect. These values have not only shaped how families live but also shape other aspects of their culture such as meals, government policies and pop culture.
Traditionally, the latin American family is a close-knit group that usually goes beyond just the parents and children. Many times aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents all live under the same roof. In most families, the father is usually at the head of the household, and the mother is responsible for taking care of the home. Individuals within a family have a moral responsibility to aid other members of the family that have financial problems, unemployed, are sick, or have other issues. In Latino families, the family needs usually override individual needs. In fact, this is true to the extent that “An individual’s self-confidence, worth, security, and identity are determined by his relationship to other family members” (Ho, 1987, p. 124).
This sense of belonging and care creates family ties that are very strong. They often gather together to celebrate holidays, birthdays, baptisms, weddings, and every other special occasions. These activities usually include a lot of food, music, and enjoying the company.
Another important aspect of the Latino family is their desire to instill in their children principles of love, affection, hard work, and respect. This can be seen in how the parents care and teach their children. An important cultural action is to