My dear Gringo friends, I am going to teach you something this Xmas… When you see someone who might look Hispanic/Latino, don’t ask them “Are you Spanish?” and I’ll tell you why. 

I’ve been living in the United States for over 4 years and I get asked the same question over and over again multiple times (sometimes too many times) ¿Are you Spanish?, I really wish I can have a hand out with this information so I can better help you to understand the difference, however I hope that this brief explanation will clarify this confusion and help you understand the next time you hear someone speaking Spanish. 

I am going to tell you what is the difference between speaking Spanish and being Spanish, and yes, you guessed it! it’s is not the same thing. 

Spanish people are from Spain and they are not Latinos (they are Hispanics).  Latinos are from Latin American and not necessarily speak Spanish (like Brazilians), Hispanics are of Spanish-speaking origin or ancestry.

Spanish is one of the most spoken languages in the world and has many variations to it.  Like, the Spanish that people from Spain speaks is very different than the Spanish the Caribbean people speak.   Even though there are many similarities in the language we all speak it differently, they are regional words and accents that sometimes you can easily identify. 

So just because we speak Spanish doesn’t even mean that we completely understand each other! sometimes I don’t  know what someone else is saying if they are speaking in their regional language.  Yeah, it’s funny and interesting! That’s how diverse our beautiful language can be. 

Colombians, Puertoricans, Dominicans, Guatemalans, Ecuadorians, Peruvians, Chilenians, etc. etc.  We all have different accents and words that are particular to their countries and not necessarily mean the same or sound the same, although they are in Spanish.

It’s like the people from the South of the US, speak kind of different than the people from New York, you can identify the differences in their accents and something similar happens between Latinos and Hispanics. 


Among the Hispanics, we have the Caribbean Latinos – Like me who was born on the island in the Caribbean called the Dominican Republic and not in Latin American. Puerto Rico is also a Caribbean Island (and we speak Spanish as well as English). There are also Afro-Latinos who are all over the Americas and are of African descent.

In a wrap (I know this might sound confusing) but we are a very diverse group of people, we are everywhere, learn a little more about us and stop assuming we are all the same.

So, stop asking me if I am Spanish!!! I am not  I speak Spanish and I am from the Caribbean. 

Gracias – This is your Christmas gift from me to you! Feliz Navidad

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