My dad is very much a Latino man. And what I mean by that, in case you couldn't guess, is that almost everything he does is a clear reflection of his Salvadorian roots. From his accent (vastly improved over time but still there nonetheless…at least so my friends tell me), to his complete reliance on my mother for most meals to his makes-you-roll-your-eyes machismo (yup, even fathers have it!), he is the epitome of a stereotypical Hispanic dad.

 

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But though his super Latino habits sometimes drive me crazy, they're part of what makes him the best dad in the world (admittedly, I'm a little biased) and also why I wholeheartedly believe that Hispanic fathers are the best ones out there! So in honor of Fathers Day, here are 5 Latino values my father passed on to me that I will forever be grateful for. Thanks Dad!

  1. Soccer is the most important sport in the universe. My uncle owns several soccer stores and my dad manages one of them so I've grown up watching games with my family. What have I learned in all these years? Baseball sucks, football is watchable only during the Super Bowl, basketball is OK if nothing else is on, but soccer rules all. (And yes, those are pretty much the only sports he--and I--pay any attention to).   
  2. Speaking Spanish is invaluable to life. I can't tell you how many times I've been out with my dad and he has struck up a conversation with a random person just by greeting them in Spanish. That connection has made him countless acquaintances and new friends and has helped us out on more than one occasion! One time, he even managed to talk the manager of my old apartment building into moving in after-hours. After their conversation, Carlos would ask me if I needed anything every time I left the building.
  3. Boys shouldn't make you cry and if they do, Dad will go after them. I haven't taken him up on his offer to round up my other, equally macho, male relatives and beat someone up, but it's nice to know they're there.  Latin families like to stick together!
  4. Work as hard as you think you can and then work even harder than that. This isn't strictly a Latino thing, but growing up in a different country did contribute greatly to my dad's work ethic. When he moved to the US, he knew no English and had to work various odd jobs to support my mom and my sister, who was only two years old at the time. To this day, he still works seven days a week.
  5. When in doubt, add hot sauce. OK, so I don't actually like hot sauce but my dad adds it to EVERY type of food under the sun. Instead of applying it to my plate, I've applied his spicy-is-better method to my life by always taking on random challenges that shake up my world a little. I went skydiving on my 18th birthday, jumped headfirst into several intense internships that helped me gain invaluable journalistic experience and studied abroad in Prague for four months without knowing anyone there. He supported me every step of the way.

So Happy Fathers Day to all the amazing dads out there--especially mine!

What lessons have you learned from your dad? Tell us in the comments below!

About the author

Michelle Regalado is a Staff Writer at MamásLatinas. She loves reading, travel, pop culture, and writing about anything and everything.

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