There are only 12 days left for Navidad and if you haven’t started your shopping yet and have no idea what to buy the beloveds on your list, this carefully curated holiday Latino gift guide includes a little something for everyone. From bilingual backpacks to bamboo "tostoneras," click the titles for links to these great suggestions with a cultural twist.
If you’ve been challenged to find a fun way to teach your young kids Spanish, My Mochila: Spanish On the Go, is the gift you have been waiting for. Buy one for you and your sister too! My Mochila is a teacher curated multi-cultural monthly subscription box for elementary school children. The first month comes with a starter kit that includes a colorful Owl backpack, lesson plans and over a dozen items to make learning fun. Find a bilingual book, Los Pollitos, a bilingual music CD, Spanish English dictionary and other carefully selected educational items made by artisans that the kids will learn about.
Prices start at $51 for the monthly plan.
For the millions of Borinqueños who live outside their beloved island, De Puerto Rico al Mundo, a musical jamboree celebrating the nation’s holiday music will bring them closer to home. This year the theme is dedicated to the island’s growing diaspora across the U.S. and features performances by José Feliciano’s (singing what else?) Feliz Navidad. Feliciano is joined by old school salseros Andy Montañez and Ismael Miranda, and many others including, Tommy Torres, Black Guayaba, Obie Bermudez and Zona de Bomba.
Starting at $11.99
Los Angeles based artist Anna Alvarado’s giclée prints are the perfect gift for the person in your life who loves to be surrounded by unique cultural pieces. These ready to hang prints are printed directly onto a wood panel using UV inks for vibrant color and long-lasting protection. The natural tones of the grain of the wood combined with Alvarado’s artwork create a special one of a kind work of art.
Starting at $24.95
Learn about the land of Pablo Neruda and Salvador Allende with the exquisite box set of eight-films by the award winning auteur Patricio Guzmán. This collection is a first ever set that includes five of Guzman’s most notable films and span thirty-five years of the filmmaker’s life. Included in the box set are The Battle for Chile, The Pinochet Case and Guzmán’s latest gem, Nostalgia for the Light.
The Films of Patricio Guzmán, $79.99
Two Mexican cultural icons – la Virgen de Guadalupe and the ubiquitous chola -- are rolled into one in the exquisite chain Chola Boss Rosary Bracelet. The piece comes with a gold-filled brass heart charm and it’s accented with carved resin red roses. If you have a bigger budget, check out the Virgen Pearl Rosary Necklace, a one of a kind stunner. The pendant is made with freshwater pearls that are wrapped in a rosary style giving the traditional rosary a modern look. These wonderful pieces are all from Los Angeles-based Ilaments Jewelry.
Starting at $48.
The popular store and cultural center Mi Vida, in LA's Highland Park neighborhood, is finally online. For holiday shoppers who love handcrafted items, it couldn’t have come at a better time. You can find something for anyone on your list at the virtual shop. Standouts include La Doña Felix tee shirt and La Luchadora Muscle tunic. The Urban Virgen Candle and I Could Fall in Love with Pizza Mexican-style candle make great stocking suffers.
Starting at $12.50
No Latino home is complete without a working tostonera to make wonderful smashed plantains. And now that Hispanics are rising in numbers, Target started carrying ethnic ware including the Global Kitchen Imusa Bamboo Tostonera. For the colombianas who like their patacones larger than other Caribbeans cooks, the tostonera comes in a larger size. This makes a great gift for that special someone delving into Latin cuisine.
Starting at $4.99
Gone are the days when your abuela, mom and tías spent days and days grating root vegetables to prepare pastel masa by hand. Thanks to some innovative Puerto Rican, this pastel-making machine cuts down the preparation time by hours if not days! The Collazo Electric Guayadora de Verduras (vegetable grater) in stainless steel is an electric grater that comes with YouTube videos and recipes for the newly initiated in the art of making the beloved holiday delicacy.
Starting at $275
ConCalma bags are for the beloved on your list who shops with conscience — they are made using local design and manufacturing. Made by a seamstress co-op, the totes come in different sizes and are versatile for any occasion and use—from a visit to your local Latino museum or cultural center to Trader Joe’s or a cafecito with a girlfriend. Made of one hundred percent cotton and an array of designs and colors, this is the kind of gift that keeps on giving.
Starting at $25.00
This 4-cd box set features of the Caribbean island’s most legendary orchestras—from jazz to rumba and Afro Cuban chanting. Each disc celebrates a genre, from dance (Bailar con Cuba) chant (Cuban Invocations), song craft (Cantar en Cuba) and Cuban Jazz. It features the classic songstress Celina González singing "Que Viva Chango," making this cigar box disc a must under any music lover’s tree.
Cuba: I am Time $45.54