IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

What We Love Most About Our Latina Moms: Rick Najera, Others, Share

Image: Actor, comedian and producer Rick Najera with his mom Mary Najera.
Image: Actor, comedian and producer Rick Najera with his mom Mary Najera.Rick Najera

What is it that you love the most about your Mamá?

Could it be the way she had to know where you were at all times? (It's funny now, not when you were 15). Was it how she said your full name - in Spanish - when she was mad at you? The many nights you shared the guilty pleasure of watching a favorite show or telenovela together?

Here are some wonderful remembrances from Hispanics around the nation - you may know a few of them - who share their touching - and sometimes hilarious - memorias of Mom.

Her traditional and mysterious remedies for everything:

“My mother believes in the mystical qualities of Vick’s Vaporub to heal all sorts of ailments, from bumps and bruises to pneumonia. My grandmother told me not to eat pineapples when I had my period or the blood in my veins would curdle. She also told me that if I ate standing up, all the food would go down to my knees.”

- Esmeralda Santiago, award-winning author of numerous books, including “When I was Puerto Rican.”

Her amazing self sacrifice:

"My older brother was born with a cleft palate and needed serious speech therapy, which was only available far away from our home. I remember my mother taking my brother nearly every day to a speech therapist on a journey that required, in her own words, "four bus transfers". But that speech therapist was the best and she would have no other.

And that journey was after many of her shifts as a banquet waitress. I saw that self-sacrifice and love and that was a Latina mother. To this day, when I'm asked to speak and I look out into a banquet hall, I always see a Latina waitress and I remember my mother and the power of her love and self-sacrifice. That taught me to love speech and the power of words and how they are nothing without love and self sacrifice."

- Rick Najera, award-winning writer, actor, director, comedian and producer, author of "Almost White: Forced Confessions of a Latino in Hollywood"

Cooking to music - and of course probing into our love life:

“I love that my mom puts on music while we clean and dances as we clean; she also puts music on while cooking. My mom always asks me if I have an "amiguita" in my life whenever we speak on the phone.”

- Elías Fraija, graduate student, Boston University.

She knows us better than anyone:

“Moments before I got up to the podium to read the inaugural poem at President Obama’s inauguration, my mother pinched my arm and told me, “Niño, estate quieto," ("sit still). Then she gave me a piece of honey candy ("un caramelito de miel") to calm me down. This is what I love about my mother: I will always be her little misbehaved angel.

- Richard Blanco, award-winning author and poet, wrote and delivered the Inaugural Poem for President Obama in 2012.

Richard Blanco with his mother Geysa on President Barack Obama’s 2012 Inauguration. Blanco was chosen to write and recite the Inaugural Poem.Richard Blanco

She defends us - no matter what:

"I remember being a little kid in front of our tenement building in the Bronx and somehow getting into a fight with a neighboring family's kid. When my mother saw his brothers jump in she came outside to get them off of me. Their mom also came out and jumped on my mom who along with me ended up fighting an entire family in front of our building. It was like a wrestling match, MMA Style. Me and my mom against like 5 or 6 others. I don't know if this makes my mom an official "Latina Mom" but it was definitively very ghetto of us. Hey, she wasn't going to let her kid get jumped without a fight!"

- Esai Morales, award-winning actor known for his roles in “La Bamba,” “American Family,” “NYPD Blue" and "Resurrection Blvd."

She teaches us respect:

“I always had to look at her in the eyes when she was talking to me. She taught me how important it is to visually engage with the person I'm talking to.”

- Alice Bertholin Rice, NJ-based Human Resources Manager.

She shows her love - by forcefeeding us:

“My favorite thing about my mom and almost every other Latin mamá is that they want to make sure you don’t go hungry or thirsty. My mom gives me big portions for dinner when she knows I won’t spend time at home. It’s a bit much but the food is always appreciated.”

- Ashley Acuña, Associate Television Producer, Houston, Texas.

And of course, our "other" moms, our Abuelas, feed us a lot too:

“My grandma tries to feed me even when I’m not hungry. She never takes no for an answer.”

- Yomanda Martin, cadet, United States Military Academy, West Point.

Moms teach us to keep at it:

“I would say my favorite quality from my mom is her perseverance. I can see it from the way she raised us to the finishing on the cakes she delivers to a local birthday party.”

- Jonathan Orrala, recruiting professional, New York City.

Jonathan Orrala and his mom, Jessyka Thur de KoosJonathan Orrala

They are sometimes really nice - to a fault:

“My mom can be so kind. Sometimes I tell her to stop.”

- Cynthia Yanez, legal assistant in Belleville, New Jersey.

Most of all, we love their unconditional love:

"What I love about my Ma...the list is infinite: I love her strength, her fire, her passion that inspires me every minute of every day. I love the way she smiles at me and just like that, the whole world becomes more beautiful. And most of all, I love way she loves me unconditionally, with every inch of her heart and soul. She is my everything, I am nothing without her. I love you, Ma.”

- Sofia Carson, songwriter, singer and actress known for her roles in "Austin and Ally" and her upcoming roles in "Disney’s Descendants,” and “Adventures in Babysitting.”

Follow NBC News Latino on Facebook and Twitter