Latin Culture

The Culture of Latin America is the expression of the people of Latin America and includes literature, art, music, folk art, and dance, as well as religion and other traditions and practices.

Territories include Mexico, Central America and South America, with the exception of English or Dutch speaking territories. It ultimately derives from Latin Roman influence. Since the 16th century, Latin American cultural presence has been in the United States, especially in areas such as California, Texas, Florida, and New York.

The richness of Latin American culture is the product of many Indigenous, Spanish, Portuguese and African influences. All the core elements of Latin American culture are of Iberian origin which is ultimately related to Western Culture.

African Influences

The African culture, brought by Africans in the Trans-Atlantic former slave trade has influenced various parts of Latin America. Influences are particularly strong in dance, music, cuisine, and some religions of Cuba, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Northwest Ecuador, coastal Colombia, and Honduras.


Latin American music comes in many varieties from rural music to the sophisticated music of Cuba, from symphonies to the simple Andean flute. Music has played an important part in Latin America’s turbulent history. Latin music is very diverse, with the only truly unifying thread being the use of the Spanish language or in Brazil (Portuguese).

One of the main characteristics of Latin American music is its diversity, from the lively rhythms of Central America and the Caribbean to the more austere sounds of southern South America. Another feature of Latin American music is its original blending of the variety of styles that arrived in The Americas and became influential, from the early Spanish and European Baroque to the different beats of the African rhythms.

Latino-Caribbean music, such as salsamerenguebachata are styles of music that have been strongly influenced by African rhythms and melodies.

Other musical genres of Latin America include the Argentine and Uruguayan tango, the Colombian cumbia and vallenato, Mexican ranchera and mariachi, Cuban salsa, bolero, rumba and mambo, Nicaraguan palo de mayo, Uruguayan candombe, and the Panamanian cumbia, tamborito, saloma and pasillo. In Brazil, samba, and bossa nova. Recently the Haitian kompa has become increasingly popular.

Latin pop, including many forms of rock, is also popular in Latin America today.

Go to Latin Music

Latin Dance

Latin America has a strong tradition of dance. Salsa and the more popular Latin dances like mambo, bachata, cha-cha-cha embraced in the culture and have since been able to retain their significance both in and outside the Latin America.

Some of the dances of Latin America are derived from and named for the type of music they are danced to. For example, mambo, salsa, cha-cha-cha,  rumba,  merengue,  samba,  bachata, and the tango are among the most popular. Each of the types of music has specific steps that go with the music, counts, rhythms, and style.

Take online Latin Dance Lessons for FREE

Find Latin Dance Lessons near you