Body language meaning in Colombia

Today we will discover the body language meaning in Colombia

  • Colombian women will often substitute the gesture of holding forearms for a handshake.
  • Men shake hands with direct eye contact.
  • Once a friendship has developed, greetings become warmer and a lot more hands on –  men will embrace and pat each other on the shoulder (known as an “abrazo”) and women kiss once on the right cheek.
  • If you are visiting on business and happen to tour a factory, it is polite to shake hands with those workers nearest you.
  • Etiquette and propriety are important that is why these Colombian girls sit up very straight! - Body language meaning in Colombia

    Etiquette and propriety are important that is why these Colombian girls sit up very straight! – Body language meaning in Colombia

    Etiquette and propriety are important in Colombia, therefore, avoid placing your feet on a table or other piece of furniture, and avoid yawning in public and eating on the streets.

  • Tapping the underside of the elbow with the fingers of the other hand suggests that someone is ‘stingy.’
  • To indicate that you have finished eating, place the knife and fork horizontally across the plate.
  • Hands should be kept visible when eating.
  • Resting elbows on the table is considered bad manners.
  • Women visitors should be especially sensitive about making any glance or gesture that might be considered flirtatious.
  • Colombians are termed as ‘indirect communicators’ – this means there is more information within body language and context rather than the words, i.e. if you ask someone to do something and they reply ‘I will have to see’, it would be up to you to read their body language and realize that they can not do it.
do your thing

do your thing

The meaning of gestures Puerto Rico

The meaning of gestures Puerto Rico

The meaning of gestures Puerto Rico

The next country and second on the series of understanding body language and Hispanic culture.

The meaning of gestures Puerto Rico

  • As in most Latin countries, people tend to stand close to one another in any social or even business setting. This relates to a different perspective on ‘personal space,’ with North Americans and many Europeans believing that people should stand about an arm’s length from one another. If you tend to move away from a Latin first, it could be considered as offensive or insulting.
  • Men tend to smile and stare at women, which is considered acceptable, but the reverse is not.
  • Puerto Ricans tend to interrupt each other frequently and are not upset when this occurs.
  • If someone wiggles their nose, it probably means he or she is saying ‘What’s going on here?’
  • You will hear restaurant patrons signal for waiters by making a ‘psssst’ sound.

We hope you enjoyed from the meaning of gestures Puerto Rico and feel free to send us a comment if you know more of these gestures that belong only to Puerto Rico. 🙂


confidence quote

Photo courtesy: Ballet Majestad Negra of Piñones at the city of Loíza, Puerto Rico

Body language: the meaning of gestures in Mexico

Gestures in Mexico

Gestures in Mexico

Body language is an important part of the communication process. Noticing the signals that people send out with their body language is a very useful social skill. All who specialize in research, grassroots marketing, community outreach, event marketing understand that body language is a key body of knowledge to have.

This is the first of a Hispanic culture series on body language and gestures in Latin American countries.

The meaning of gestures in Mexico

  • A warm, somewhat soft handshake is the customary greeting among both men and women. Men should let the woman make the first move toward handshaking. After the second or third meeting, Mexican men may begin with or add the abrazo, the embrace along with a few pats on the back. Women friends will embrace lightly and pretend to kiss a cheek.
  • In some areas of Mexico, you may encounter an unusual addition to the handshake where, after gripping the palm, the two people slide their hands upward to grasp each other’s thumbs.
  • Many Mexicans are ‘touch oriented.’ This means they may linger over a handshake, they may touch the forearm or elbow, or they may even casually finger the lapel of the other person’s suit. All these touches merely signify a willingness to be friendly nothing more.
  • If a man stands with his hands on his hips, it suggests hostility.
  • Deference is shown to the elderly, so give way to them in public and don’t object if they are waited on first.
  • Never visit churches or religious sites while wearing shorts, tank tops, or cut-off shirts or shorts.
  • The national drink in Mexico is tequila. To drink it properly, here is the procedure: place a pinch of salt in the depression of your left hand between thumb and forefinger; then lick the salt and quickly take a drink of tequila; follow this by sucking on a lime wedge.
  • You can call attention to yourself or call a waiter by lifting your hand above your head or maybe a bit lower with the index finger extended upwards and adding a “Pssst!” or “Pshhh!” sound. This is not considered rude and it also applies to other cultures such as Haiti, Argentina, and Spain.
  • Patience is important; avoid showing anger if and when you encounter delays or interruptions.
people may not tell you how they feel about you but they always show you

people may not tell you how they feel about you but they always show you

National Latino Leader? The Job Is Open

Voter Turnout Increases by 5 Million in 2008 Presidential Election, U.S. Census Bureau Reports

Voter Turnout Increases by 5 Million in 2008 Presidential Election, U.S. Census Bureau Reports

The Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center, has released a new report on national Latino leaders. The findings indicate that, by their own reckoning, Latinos living in the United States do not have a national leader. When asked in an open-ended question to name the person they consider “the most important Latino leader in the country today,” nearly two-thirds (64%) of Latino respondents said they did not know. An additional 10% said “no one.”

These findings emerge from the 2010 National Survey of Latinos, a bilingual national survey of 1,375 Hispanic adults conducted prior to this month’s mid-term elections by the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center.

The most frequently named individual was Sonia Sotomayor, appointed last year to the U.S. Supreme Court. Some 7% of respondents said she is the most important Latino leader in the country. U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) of Chicago is next at 5%. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa draws 3%, and Jorge Ramos, an anchor on Noticiero Univision, the national evening news program on the Spanish-language television network Univision, drew 2%.

No one else was named by more than 1% of respondents in the 2010 National Survey of Latinos conducted August 17 through September 19, 2010, by landline and cellular telephone.

The margin of error for the full sample is plus or minus 3.3 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. For a full description of the survey methodology, see Appendix A at

In the November 2, 2010 elections, three Hispanics, all of them Republican, were elected to top statewide offices: Marco Rubio won a U.S. Senate seat in Florida, Brian Sandoval was elected governor of Nevada, and Susana Martinez was elected governor of New Mexico.

The prominence of these offices conceivably could provide platforms from which any of the three could emerge as national Latino leaders, but to do so they would have to overcome some strong partisan head winds. Nationwide, Latinos supported Democratic candidates for the U.S. House this month by a wide margin, according to the National Election Pool’s national exit poll—continuing a pattern of strong Latino support for Democrats that has persisted in recent elections (Lopez, 2010).

At 47 million strong, Latinos are the nation’s largest minority group, constituting more than 15% of the U.S. population. As a group, they feel increasingly targeted by ethnic bias. More than six-in-ten (61%) say that discrimination against Latinos is “a major problem” that prevents members of their ethnic group from succeeding in America (Lopez, Morin and Taylor, 2010), up from 47% who felt this way in 2002 (Pew Hispanic Center, 2002).

At various times in American history, groups that have felt aggrieved have rallied behind leaders who championed their cause—be it a Susan B. Anthony, who led the women’s suffrage movement in the late 19th century, or a Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., who led the civil rights movement in the mid 20th century. From the 1960s through the 1980s, Cesar Chavez, co-founder of the United Farm Workers of America (UFW), played a similar role for Latinos, who at the time were a much smaller share of the U.S. population than they are now.

But there are often times when groups—be they ethnic, racial or political—do not have easily identifiable leaders. For example, in a national survey conducted after this month’s mid-term elections, when Americans were asked who they think of as the leader of the Republican Party these days, more than half (51%) said they don’t know and 14% said that “nobody” leads the party (Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, 2010).

Today, not only are most Latinos unable to name anyone they consider a national leader, but many see divisions within the Latino community between the native-born and foreign-born. About half (45%) say they believe that immigrant Latinos and native-born Latinos are working together to achieve common political goals, but a nearly identical share (46%) say they do not believe these two groups are working together (Lopez, Morin and Taylor, 2010). Both the native born3 (who comprise 47% of the adult population of Latinos) and the foreign born (who comprise 53%) are also roughly equally divided on this question

Searching for a Latino Leader: Prominent Latinos & Leadership

The survey explored the subject of leadership in the Latino community in two different ways. The first was to present an open-ended question in which respondents were asked: “In your opinion, who is the most important Latino leader in the country today?” As reported above, nearly two-thirds said they did not know, and an additional one-in-ten said “no one.”

Later in the survey, respondents were presented with the names of eight prominent Latinos and asked if they had heard of each. Those who said they had were then asked if they considered that person to be a leader. (The sample was split in half so that each respondent was asked about four prominent individuals).

Of the eight names presented (see box), just two were familiar to a majority of respondents: Sotomayor (67%) and Ramos (59%). Four others were known by more than a quarter of respondents: Villaraigosa (44%), Gutierrez (38%), New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson (35%), and UFW co-founder DoloresHuerta (28%). The other two were familiar to only a small share of respondents: U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) of Tucson, Arizona (13%), and Janet Murguía, President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Council of La Raza (8%).

In the follow-up question, anywhere between one-third and two-thirds of respondents who had heard of each prominent Latino said that they considered that person to be a leader. The highest leadership “score” was received by Sotomayor. Among the 67% who said they had heard of her, some 68% said they consider her to be a leader—meaning that, when the questions are posed in this manner, a total of 45% of survey respondents (67% × 68%) consider her a leader.

Ramos is next with a leadership score of 38%, followed by Villaraigosa at 29% and Gutierrez at 23%. No one else on the list had a score above 20%.

Leadership, Nativity and Language

For the most part, immigrant Latinos are more familiar than native-born Latinos are with the names of persons presented in the survey. For example, nearly three in-four (73%) of the foreign born said they have heard of Sotomayor, while just 59% of the native born said the same. And more than half (55%) of the foreign born have heard of Villaraigosa, while just three-in-ten (31%) of the native born said the same. Only in the case of Richardson are the foreign born and the native born equally likely to have heard of him—35% and 36% respectively.

Immigrant Hispanics are also more inclined than native-born Hispanics to say each of the eight prominent Hispanics are leaders. Sotomayor achieved a leadership score of 51% among foreign-born Hispanics, but only 38% among the native born. Ramos achieved a score of 51% among the foreign born—equal to that of Sotomayor—but he achieved a score of less than half that (23%) among native-born Hispanics.

Responses to these questions are also correlated with the preferred language of the respondent. English-dominant Hispanics are less likely than bilingual or Spanish-dominant Hispanics4 to have heard of each prominent Hispanic, except for Richardson and Murguía. In the case of Richardson, four-in-ten (40%) English-dominant Hispanics have heard of him, but fewer than three-in-ten (29%) Spanish-dominant Hispanics said the same. In the case of Murguía, all three groups were equally likely to say they have heard of her. Overall, Ramos (78%) is the most well known prominent Hispanic among the Spanish dominant.

Among English-dominant Latinos, Sotomayor achieved the highest leadership score (32%), followed by Richardson (15%), Villaraigosa (13%) and Gutierrez (10%). Among bilingual Latinos, Sotomayor once again has the highest leadership score—45%. She is followed by Ramos (39%), Villaraigosa (26%) and Huerta (19%).
Among Spanish-dominant Latinos, Ramos achieved the highest leadership score at 55%, followed by Sotomayor (53%), Villaraigosa (41%), Gutierrez (35%) and Huerta (21%).

For a full copy of the report go to:
About the Pew Hispanic Center
Founded in 2001, the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center, is a nonpartisan research organization that seeks to improve understanding of the U.S. Hispanic population and to chronicle Latinos’ growing impact on the nation. The Center does not take positions on policy issues. It is funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts, a public charity based in Philadelphia.

i am convinced that different people awaken different beasts in you

i am convinced that different people awaken different beasts in you

The Latino Vote

When comparing the Press Releases the Pew Hispanic sent out on October 5, 2010 and on November 3, 2010, one cannot but wonder. What is exactly the Latino vote? And do people really understand this Latino vote?

The Pew announced prior to the Congressional Elections that their research indicated that “65% of Latino registered voters say they plan to support the Democratic candidate in their local congressional district.” The findings pointed towards the prediction that in a year when support for Democratic candidates has eroded, the party’s standing among one key voting group—Latinos—appeared as strong as ever.

The latino vote and immigration reform principles. Photo Credit:

The latino vote and immigration reform principles. Photo Credit:

One month later, for Tuesday’s midterm elections, Hispanic vote makes history. For the first time ever, three Latino  candidates – all of them Republicans – won top statewide offices. In New Mexico, voters elected the nation’s first Latina governor, Republican Susana Martinez. In Nevada, Republican Brian Sandoval won the governor’s race and became Nevada’s first Hispanic governor. And in Florida, Republican Marco Rubio won the U.S. Senate race.

How much does this research predict what Latinos think in politics or who they will support? Everybody seems to believe that immigration is at the forefront in the Hispanic agenda. This survey shows that immigration does not rank as a top voting issue for Hispanics. Rather, they rank education, jobs and health care as their top three issues of concern for this year’s congressional campaign. Immigration ranks as the fifth most important issue for Latino registered voters and as the fourth most important issue for all Latinos.

Among the report’s other findings:

-Majorities of almost all demographic groups of Latino registered voters say they will vote for the Democratic Party candidate in their local congressional election Nov. 2. Only among Republican Latino registered voters does a majority (74%) say they will support the Republican congressional candidate.

-Some groups of Latino registered voters are more motivated than others to vote this year. More than six-in-ten (62%) of those who are ages 50 to 64 are absolutely certain they will vote, as are 61% of those who have at least some college education, 58% of those who are English dominant and 58% of Latino registered voters ages 65 or older.

-Fewer than four-in-ten (38%) of Latino registered voters who are Spanish dominant say they are absolutely certain to vote this year. This is lower than any other demographic group of Latino registered voters.

-Some six-in-ten (59%) Latino registered voters are dissatisfied with the direction the country is headed, down from 70% in July 2008 (Lopez and Minushkin, 2008a).

-Two-thirds (66%) of Latino registered voters say they talked about the immigration policy debate in the past year with someone they know. The report, based on a national survey of 1,375 Hispanic adults, including 618 registered voters, looks at Latinos’ partisan preferences in the congressional elections; their party identification; their level of voter motivation; and the issues they identify as important in the upcoming elections.

I believe that people should stop looking at Hispanics as one whole block where they all vote the same. Latinos are as varied as they come and their political preferences match their upbringing, the current situation, their education level, their country of origin’s political history and how it affected them and their acculturation levels.

by Claudia “Havi” Goffan