photo: Instagram/madel.foto

Some of my fondest memories growing up revolve around visits to my abuela’s house. Whether it was helping her in the kitchen or laid back on the couch watching Sabado Gigante with a Cuban tostada in hand (yes, she often let me get away with this as my dinner), there are few places in the world where I felt more at home.

Maybe that’s why I felt so comfortable the very first time I visited my in-law’s house almost nine years ago. From the moment I walked through the door, I was reminded of my childhood and immediately fell in love with this family. 

Here are 14 things you’ll find in a Cuban’s (or other Latino’s) house that will make you feel like you’ve gone home again.


A giant quinceañera photo

Depending on who's house you're visiting, this might be your mom, tía, prima, BFF, or even you in the photo. Whoever it is, though, it will certainly take up most of an entire wall. 


A statue of Santa Barbara

Or another Santo of choice.


A domino table

For those friendly (and sometimes not so friendly) family tournaments. 


Plastic furniture covers

On a couch you're probably not allowed to sit on anyway. 


A wall of First Communion photos

No child in the family left behind.


The island of Cuba

Whether it's a painting on the wall or the artwork on a decorative set of coasters, it will be there somewhere. 


A Cuban cafetera

Known as a greca to the rest of the world. 


A glass of water

Usually next to Santa Barbara or atop some high shelf. You know, to drive away los espíritus malos.


A veladora

Like many other Latinos, a Cuban's house is not complete without at least one of these. 


An old-school mop

¿Que Swiffer Sweeper?


Some sort of ode to José Martí

Still considered one of Cuba's biggest national heroes


The music of Celia Cruz



A bongo drum

For when the family parties get turnt up.


The smell of home cooking

A photo posted by @angelamizq_ on

Which will inevitably stick to your clothes on your way out. Still, you wouldn't have it any other way.