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Latinos join Thanksgiving

Colombians, Peruvians, Ecuadorians and Mexicans in the middle of a baked turkey give thanks to God for the favors received

Ferney León is already an expert in preparing a stuffed turkey for Thanksgiving Day. To his right is the Colombian priest Néstor Martínez.

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Fernando Pineda/Westchester Hispano


Entire families, fellow countrymen, both Americans and immigrants, preserve the ancient tradition of Christian origin of meeting on the last Thursday of November around a table to share a banquet whose main dish is turkey, roasted or baked.

Most people in the United States celebrate this holiday with family gatherings in their homes where they prepare a banquet, in many houses it is common to offer a prayer of thanks to God for the blessings received during the year. The traditional main dish for dinner is a large roasted or baked turkey, this turkey is traditionally accompanied with a stuffing made of cornbread and sage.

As time goes by, the Latino community residing in the United States has become infected with this celebration. This is how entire families gather to offer dinner as a sign of gratitude to the Almighty, in many cases, people from different Spanish-speaking countries come together to share the special date, always keeping the typical dish of the occasion, but adding a touch of flavor with a menu of their own country of origin.

More than a dinner, it is the time to express our gratitude to God for all the favors and blessings received during the year, that date has been called Thanksgiving Day and its original name in English is Thanksgiving Day.

According to history, Thanksgiving is an amalgamation of the harvest festivals, celebrated by European settlers, and the end-of-harvest celebrations also held by Native Americans.

Peruvians Jorge Aquino and Luz Patricia Rojas have a lot to thank God for, as they dine with a turkey arranged in the style of Peruvian cuisine.

The Latin Celebration

“There is no more precious feeling than being grateful, acknowledging and responding to those who in one way or another have done us a favor or provided a service, especially the Supreme Being who has given us life and the means to remain in it” .

This was expressed by Ferney León, a Colombian who has lived in the United States for more than 30 years, initially in New Jersey and for a decade in Westchester.

León referred to the upcoming Thanksgiving Day celebration, on November 24, 2022, the date on which he and his family traditionally prepare dinner and offer their gratitude as Catholics to God.

Paisa Dinner

The León family, of Colombian origin, is consistent with the American tradition of the dinner menu whose main seasoning is turkey, usually baked, but they do not forget their Paisa ancestor and give it added value by turning it into a kind of suckling pig, that is to say that they make a stuffing for the turkey with rice and other products to give it a different flavor, they also accompany it with corn arepa and a glass of wine.

Ferney León stated that he is in charge of preparing the dish every year and he is proud of that, while thanking God for allowing him to act as chef and serve a family conglomerate and a few countrymen, including the Colombian priest Néstor Martínez.

The table with its typical dish is ready to gather families on Thanksgiving

Peruvians and Colombians

In another sector of White Plains, three Latino families united by a bond of mutual friendship, the Castaños, Rojas and Aquinos, also have the custom of gathering at the table in Thanksgiving mode. Like the previous ones, always with its main dish framed by a succulent baked turkey which is garnished with a variety of tubers and accompanied by the traditional Peruvian potato a la huancaína.

In some cases, as Luz Patricia Rojas says and her countryman Jorge Aquino corroborates, they put the purple mazamorra and if necessary they add a little salted loin, this according to the palates sticking to the Peruvian cuisine.

Posted on November 11, 2022



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