Not All Latinx Are The Same: Embrace Diversity Within This Community

The tumultuous 2020 election season taught us all a lot -- and more than just a handful of these lessons apply to the world of marketing, too. 

Case in point: We are not all the same, nor will we ever be. No savvy brand manager or agency person in the U.S. would ever consider Texans the same as New Yorkers. 

But with over 20 countries represented and over 60 million Latinx in the U.S., why is it that many people are still surprised to find out Latinx/Hispanics are not all the same?

As marketers, we must necessarily look for commonalities, of which there are some. But while that may get you through the door, it does not secure you a connection with this diverse population. So let’s talk about the similarities and the differences, and why it's important to understand them.

First things first: While most of us have adapted to being called Latinos or Hispanics or in some cases now Latinx, and there is a lot of pride that comes with that cultural heritage, most of us don’t define ourselves with those terms. We are Mexican-American, Guatemalan-American, Peruvian-American, etc., before we are Latinx. Why? Because the cultural pride comes from our home country and the specific cultural gifts that country gave to us and our families. 



Most of us, except Brazilians, either speak Spanish or hold Spanish as an important part of our culture, but we all speak it differently. These various words, phrases and accents are distinct and also valuable. As brands attempt to connect with the diverse groups known as Hispanics, they would be wise to ensure different nationalities are represented at their agencies. For instance, you’d never say “y’all” to a New Yorker.

Passion for food, music and sports is many times a defining characteristic of our diverse population, but even those tastes vary. Many of us love soccer (futbol), but the level of engagement and the teams we follow varies widely, and some of us also love baseball and other more traditionally “American” sports.

When it comes to music, many of today’s greatest hits and musical trends are brought to us by Latinx artists. That said, within our own community, we gravitate toward different genres. Assuming everyone likes mariachis or salsa is at best, a surefire way to make it clear you haven’t done your homework -- or, at the worst, sound culturally patronizing.

Today’s food world bears similarities to music, with Latin American cuisines dominating some of today’s best restaurants, from the high-end foodie scene to food trucks. While yes, almost everyone in this country probably likes tacos of some sort, tacos are not the way to every Latinx heart. There are Venezuelan arepas, Argentinian asado and Salvadoran pupusas, as well as Peruvian ceviche joints and Puerto Rican food trucks. The list goes on and on. 

It’s this same diversity within our food, our music and our culture that makes us, as a collective, so special. So it’s crucial that advertisers understand and celebrate that, and at the same time recognize our pain points. Take a look and see how you can do the same for your brand.

7 comments about "Not All Latinx Are The Same: Embrace Diversity Within This Community".
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  1. Jose Villa from Sensis, May 6, 2021 at 2:27 p.m.

    Can we start by not promoting or legitimizing the term LatinX?

    93%+ of Hispanics or Latinos do not refer to themselves or even acknowledge the term LatinX. Maybe we can start by not promoting this Anglo-/Corporatist label that does our community a huge disservice?

  2. Marina Filippelli from Orci, May 6, 2021 at 10:55 p.m.

    Hi Jose, 
    While I fully welcome different points of view, I'm going to disagree on using Latinx being a disservice to our community and on it being an Anglo/corporatist label as it does not accurately reflect its origin or current use. As far as the statistic you included, it refers to calling yourself Latinx. Indeed, most of us do not walk around saying I am Latinx, nor do I expect anyone who is not comfortable with the term to use it, I’ve written about this before. That said, as I am sure you are aware, there is no gender-neutral option for plural for both Latinos/Latinas and as such, I choose to make use of this term to support gender and non-binary equality. I welcome a conversation about it if you'd like to reach out and discuss further. Have a great day! Best, Marina

  3. Jose Villa from Sensis, May 6, 2021 at 11:09 p.m.

    The term Hispanic is gender neutral. The term LatinX a solution looking for a problem.

    More importantly, Spanish and LatinX don’t work. The biggest issue with the term is that it tries to break the gendered grammatical tradition of the Spanish language. This is, as a practical matter, is not possible in Spanish. To embrace this term and gender neutrality in Spanish is to abandon Spanish, and the Spanish language is one of the main elements that ties the disparate nationalities and racial groups that make up the Hispanic community in the U.S. together. 

  4. Katryna Calejo from WritingKat, LLC replied, May 7, 2021 at 4:53 p.m.

    I agree with Jose. What does LatinX even mean? I'm Cuban and the first time I heard LatinX, I rolled my eyes. This term has got to go because as far as I know, not a single one of my friends or family members who are all Hispanic, identify with it or even say it. If you want to forge a deeper connection with this community, using LatinX is not the way to do it. 

  5. Katryna Calejo from WritingKat, LLC, May 7, 2021 at 4:55 p.m.

    This definitely isn't meant to be combative in any way nor was it aimed toward the author of this post. I agree with her wholeheartedly. I just don't really understand where LatinX came from or why it's generally used, and I am Latina!

  6. Marina Filippelli from Orci replied, May 7, 2021 at 5:19 p.m.

    Hello, Hispanics is not the same as Latinos and many in our community also refuse to call themselves that term as I point out in the article, so it isn't always a good alternative. As far as the linguistic issue, it changes and hopefully evolves over time to meet the needs of a given population, it has before and it will again. I personally believe that it is more important to be inclusive than it is to uphold outdated values about language. Hopefully we can agree to disagree and support everyone's choice to use the language they are comfortable with. Our ECD wrote a great article about the need for gender inclusivity in the Spanish language and it goes way beyond the use of the term Latinx. Hope you will take a look:

  7. Marina Filippelli from Orci replied, May 7, 2021 at 5:24 p.m.

    Hello! I understand where you are coming from, many are either confused or outright dislike the term. I can assure you that while I know for many it's eye roll worthy, for others it's an important way of showing inclusivity, and that is how the term was born. In other parts of Latin America they use Latines or Latin@s, and of course it's not just for the word Latinos but any non gender inclusive term like todos, which is typically used to say all when it really means males. I posted a link to an article above that talks about the way Spanish language can be sexist if you're interested in taking a look. Have a great day!

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