celebrity

13 Celebrity Parents Who Celebrate Their Hispanic Heritage With Their Families

by Angela Andaloro

Parents have a responsibility to pass on the traditions of their culture to their children. Nowadays, it doesn’t seem like every family embraces their roots.

Some families identify more with their current experience than where their family originated. Cultural traditions are still alive and well in many families, however. Many people are proud of where they’ve come from and want their children to be raised with that pride. Celebrating community and ancestry with kids really provides a richer childhood family experience. It’s really interesting to look back at and even learn from experiences beyond your own.

Many celebrity parents agree. Famous figures who have made it big haven’t forgotten the countries where their stories began. Whether they were born here or abroad, there are many celebrities who celebrate their Hispanic heritage proudly. In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, here are some celebrity parents who celebrate their Hispanic heritage with their families.

Salma Hayek

Salma Hayek was born in Mexico and is of Mexican and Lebanese descent. Her daughter, Valentina, is also French and has spent a lot of her life in Paris. Salma has made sure that Mexican culture and tradition still have a place in her life.

“Valentina grew up in Paris, but every year we had a Day of the Dead celebration. I learned how to make pan de muerto in Paris,” she told Hola!

“It has influenced me a lot, always being close to my family. It’s what gives you security. It gives you roots.”

Sofía Vergara

Sofía was born in Barranquilla, Colombia. She didn’t emigrate to the United States until she was 26. Her son, Manolo Gonzalez Vergara, was around 7 when they made the move. Sofía made sure that their culture was still very present in Manolo’s life even as they settled in the US.

Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez

Jennifer and Alex are one of the biggest Hispanic power couples out there. Jennifer has always been proud of her Puerto Rican roots. She and ex-husband Marc Anthony have always prioritized celebrating culture with their children, twins Max and Emme.

Alex is Dominican and spent time living in the Dominican Republic as a child. He’s also made it a point to keep his teen daughters, Ella and Natasha, close to the culture.

Mark Conseulos

Mark Consuelos was born in Spain but is actually of Mexican descent. It’s imporant to him to pass the language and the culture on to his three children, Michael, Lola, and Joaquin. Wife Kelly Ripa is supportive and once spoke about punishing Lola for slacking on her Spanish homework.

“You’re half-Mexican and your grandmother is a Spanish teacher. You’re not allowed to fail Spanish,” she told her daughter.

America Ferrera

America Ferrera’s parents were Honduran nationals who immigrated to the US in the mid-1970s. She’s spoken about her own struggles between growing up as a Honduran and an American. She’s worked through a lot of her complex feelings and plans for her own two children to be more directly involved and engaged with their culture than she was in her own upbringing.

Eva Longoria

Eva Longoria is of Mexican heritage. She went on a journey to learn about her Mexican ancestry in the PBS series Faces of America and traced it back to the early 1600s.

Eva’s son, Santiago, is growing up bilingual, a step Eva has corrected from her own childhood. It’s been less than a decade since she learned to speak Spanish herself.

“I’ve always been involved in my culture — through food, music, religion, traditions, and family — but I wasn’t connected to the language, which is such a big part of it,” she told Parents.

Andy Garcia

Andy Garcia was just 5 years old when his family left Havana as exiles. In his years in the industry, as both an actor and a director, he’s visited stories that speak to that journey.

“It’s important to keep the traditions alive for our children,” he said.

Andy’s four children — Dominik, Daniella, Alessandra, and Andres — grew up with many ties to their Cuban roots.

Alexa and Carlos PenaVega

Alexa was born in Miami to Colombian parents. Carlos is Spanish, Venezuelan, and Dominican. They’re big on sharing all aspects of their Hispanic roots with their two sons, Ocean King and Kingston James.

“So we want to speak Spanish with him because that’s what’s going to be harder to keep up if we don’t teach him at home. But also I grew up with a lot of Colombian food, so I can’t wait until I can start feeding him different kinds of Colombian food like arroz con pollo or little arepas,” she told E! News after Ocean’s birth.

Freddie Prinze Jr.

Freddie Prinze Jr. was raised with many connections to his Puerto Rican background. He passes that on in his own family. His kids, Charlotte and Rocky, both speak Spanish.

Their favorite way to explore their heritage is through food. Freddie wrote a cookbook with recipes that are inspired, in part, by his Puerto Rican heritage.

Christina Aguilera

Christina Aguilera is half-Ecuadorian, but she was disconnected from that culture for a period in her life. She’s reconnected as an adult, even visiting for the first time after having her two sons.

“This particular trip was sort of extra-special for me because it is my blood and heritage,” she said after the trip.

“I think it’s good to know where you come from and sort of get to know your roots. It’s really hard for these kids and I couldn’t wait to come back and tell my own kids these stories to … better appreciate what they have.”

Cardi B

Cardi B is an Afro-Latina with Dominican roots. She spoke out about the complexity of her identity in a conversation with Zendaya for Teen Vogue.

“One thing that always bothers me is that people know so little about my culture. We are Caribbean people. And a lot of people be attacking me because they feel like I don’t be saying that I’m black,” she says.

“I expect people to understand that just because we’re not African-American, we are still black. It’s still in our culture. I hate when people try to take my roots from me. Because we know that there’s African roots inside of us.”

Cardi can be seen celebrating all sides of her identity with daughter Kulture.

La La and Carmelo Anthony

Many people are unaware of the fact that both La La and Carmelo Anthony are Afro-Latinx. Both have Puerto Rican heritage.

“My husband Carmelo’s father is also Puerto Rican, so the Latino culture is really important to us and a big part of our lives,” she told Popsugar.

“We are raising our son with a strong understanding of the importance of heritage and family, and while where you or your ancestors come from doesn’t have to define who you are, it’s important for us to embrace our family’s cultural background and show pride in it. I feel really blessed to have such a diverse family history.”

Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem

Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem are two Spanish actors who are at the forefront of their communities. They’ve spoken on the responsibility they feel to share their culture with their two kids, Leo and Luna.

“I just want them to be nice, honest, caring, loving people,” Javier expressed to Entertainment Tonight.

“We know that it’s not easy to do because the world is a very complex place.”