When I saw the recent video of Shakira dancing in the streets, it reminded me of the last time I was at a family party. We were blaring her song "Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)" and nobody could stay off of the dance floor.

That's because we Latinas know how to throw the best parties. But it's not just the fantastic music (and love of dance) that make our parties stand out. From the amazing food, flowing drinks and big families gathered around to celebrate, we know how to do it right.

Read more ¿Qué más? Nada mejor que una noche de tostadas para celebrar entre amigos.

We have the best music and lots of dancing: Whether you're a fan of merengue, salsa, bachata, reggaeton or any other kind of Latino music, our parties are always filled with it. My carefully-crafted playlist includes Shakira, Pitbull, Marc Anthony, Selena, Daddy Yankee, Aventura, Celia Cruz and many others. For a party, just hit "shuffle"!

Our families gather for any celebration: Big, loud fiestas are nothing if not filled with a ton of relatives. Whether they live near or far, the family always comes together when it's time for a celebration because our family relationships matter to us. No Christening, graduation celebration or birthday party would be complete without the cousins, aunts and uncles and grandparents around too.

The table is always filled with delicious food: There is always a ton of food for the whole bunch at our parties. No tummy will ever be left unsatisfied with everything that's around. Not only does the host cook enough for everyone but the guests usually bring a few things as well. Some of my party favorites include pernil, arroz moro, spicy pico de gallo, guacamole and ensalada de nopales.

Oh yeah, and we make amazing drinks: When it comes to really making the party fun, we don't just rely on the typical cocktails to serve our friends and family. Although sometimes nothing is as good as a simple Corona with lime, we always make sure to have plenty of other options around, too. Whether it's a Mexican margarita, Cuban mojito, Brazilian caipirinha or a Puerto Rican piña colada, there's always something to indulge in.

Read more ¿Qué más? How to stay thin and still have your big family dinners.

What is your favorite way to make a Latin party really stand out?

Image via MarkScottAustinTX/flickr

About the author

Irina Gonzalez is a Staff Writer for MamásLatinas. She loves pop culture, social media, photography and, above all, discovering new places. She's also a foodie eating healthy and learning to enjoy exercise.

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Filed Under: food and wine, latin food
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I have to agree....the best parties I have gone to have been those of my own family and other relatives.
Mommy...

I love a simple game of loteria and some drinks; by the time you know it everyone no matter what age is laughing and getting excited!

Dixie...

I agree. I know when I had mentioned in another non hispanic forum that for my wedding we had a "potluck" type dinner at the reception it was met with "oh that's tacky" "I would NEVER ask my guest to bring food" Even after I explained to them that it wasn't my original intent to do it that way. As soon as people found out I was getting married I started getting calls of what who was bringing to the reception. Most would have actually been offended had I turned down those offers. So on my invitations I put "Potluck Reception to follow. Please feel free to bring your favorite dish along with recipe for the newlyweds to put in their first cookbook together" It was awesome. My husband's family (who is not hispanic) couldn't believe the amount of food and variety of food that was at the reception. To get that much variety for a catered event we would have never been able to afford it. I also loved collecting all the recipe cards that the guests brought. The best part was that we could sample the food and decide if the recipe was something we'd like to make or something we'd just keep in the cookbook. The photographer had such a good time that he actually stayed longer than we had contracted with him for.

marip...

@DixieFlower WOW! that is the BEST idea ever! One of my friends had a potlock wedding too and it was SO FUN! I loved making them my dish and I feel like everyone put extra loving care into whatever they made for them that day. I WISH they had thought to ask for recipe cards. It was even more difficult too because all the food had to be kosher, but everyone was more than willing to do whatever we had to to make their day super special. I LOVE this idea! The only people who are tacky are the ones who judge without knowing ;)

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