What Some Latin Artists Are Thankful For & Thanksgiving Traditions They Celebrate

The holiday season is upon us, and as we take this time to unwind, spend time with family and friends, it’s also time to express gratitude.

“I am most thankful for me and my family being healthy,” Joel Deleon tells Billboard. “During these hard times anything can happen, so I’m very grateful for that and also grateful for my fans. Without them, I wouldn’t be doing what I love and I’m overall grateful for my whole life.”

To celebrate Thanksgiving, Latin artists such as Deleon, Justin Quiles, Carolina Ross and Sebastian Yatra told Billboard what they are most thankful for this year, how they celebrate Thanksgiving, and some of the holiday traditions they hold near and dear to their hearts.


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See the heartfelt answers, in alphabetical order by artist, below.


“What I’m most thankful for this year is that compared to past years, I have been able to have a closer relationship with my family — especially my mom and my dad.”


One of the traditions that I have observed since I was little is bringing my brothers and cousins together to laugh at anecdotes and things we did when we were little. Remembering old times is a way of keeping the family together.”


“I celebrate Friendsgiving because my family is far away in Venezuela where we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving. I learned about the holiday here in the U.S., which is why I celebrate with friends because, in a way, they’re the family members we chose.”


“How I celebrate is by giving thanks to God for all the blessings that he has given me and my loved ones. I also thank God for the lessons learned. I thank God in a discreet way from the intimacy of my home. A true communion with God comes from a close relationship you can have with Him at all times. There’s no way I can sum up all I’m thankful for one day out of the year because every single thing that happens or is possible, it’s because of Him and for Him. Praise the Lord!”

Aymée Nuviola
Aymée Nuviola Enrique Tubio


“A tradition that I continue today is that we always take turns to host. And I celebrate by eating everything on the menu, that’s what I do on Thanksgiving.”


“A Thanksgiving tradition is that I continue to help my mother with the turkey, and baking goodies. Although our tradition is more Latin, it is still one of my favorite holidays and especially this year when we could all gather again.” 


“I celebrate Thanksgiving by taking a break to be with friends and family.”


“Being Venezuelan, we didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving growing up. Since living in the U.S., I’ve enjoyed being able to take the time to focus on gratitude. I think it’s something to be mindful of at this time and throughout the year.”


“I celebrate Thanksgiving with my mom, aunts, my cousins, and nephews. We all come together and eat at this really long table because we’re a big family, and that’s something I’m thankful for every year.” 


“I’m thankful that things are going back to ‘normal.’ They’re opening many venues where we’re able to have shows and share again with our fans, obviously following protocols. I’m happy and so thankful to be able to have that contact again with our fans.”


“I’m most thankful about my music reaching pockets of the world I never thought it could reach. That’s taught me to be more patient and grateful. I’ve been working on so many projects, created tons of music and I’ve been able to stay motivated to make music forever.” 


“We celebrate Thanksgiving by visiting family and eating authentic Puerto Rican food: alcapurrias, pasteles, arroz con gandules and lechón.”


“I celebrate by spending my time with the most meaningful people in my life, laughing, smiling, and living in the moment to the fullest.”


“I’m thankful for my family, my team, for everything that’s happened to me this year musically that’s helped me grow as a musician and as a person.”


“To this very day, we continue our family tradition of dining with some of my favorite food from the island: arroz con gandules, tembleque and coditos salad.” 


“I celebrate with my family and we’re not the type to eat turkey. Instead, we eat tamales, sometimes pozole, and drink champurrado. We enjoy our time with family members since I don’t have many friends.”


“It’s only my second year celebrating Thanksgiving and my first year we cooked a nice pavito (turkey). This is a new celebration for me and I know it is an important day in the U.S. so I embrace it and use the time to be thankful for everything. I have no traditions yet but maybe cook and have fun with friends. I don’t have family here so we will do Friendsgiving and be grateful. Yessir!”

Feid @deathofgian


“I think as the Pandemic has unfolded, it has changed many of our perspectives on what we can be thankful for. It has put more of the most important things in our lives into hyper-focus. That for me has been the safety of my family, here and abroad. That we are able to wake up and say hello to my mothers, sisters, and brothers. Knowing so many have lost their loved ones, myself having lost friends to COVID. This year, I am deeply thankful for the fact we have a vaccine and we are all safe.” 


“Thanksgiving for me is usually small, I don’t have a very big family. I’m an only child and my family is scattered between New York, Florida & the Dominican Republic so it’s usually a few of us but it’s more about spending it with the people I always love.”


“Thanksgiving is a very special holiday for me because I can reunite with my family to give thanks for all the blessings. On Thanksgiving, we eat tons of delicious food, we laugh, drink and share stories.” 


I celebrate Thanksgiving by being together with my family and eating a traditional [Mexican] meal: tamales and pozole.


“I’m thankful for all the incredible things that happened in my career thanks to my fans. I’m also thankful that my mom recovered from cancer and that I’m at a really beautiful point in my career. That I’m about to embark on my first tour and that that I am alive and healthy.”

Jay Wheeler
Jay Wheeler photographed on Aug. 24, 2021 in Miami. Devin Christopher


“I am most thankful for mine, my family, and my friends’ health. I am thankful to see everyone going out, traveling, and having fun again. I am also thankful for the things I’ve taken for granted like having a roof over my head, food to eat, water to drink, generating income doing what I love. So many people are really struggling pre and post-pandemic. I’m blessed and grateful.”


To be quite honest, I don’t remember the last time I was home for Thanksgiving. I would say maybe about three years ago, but we would always usually go to my grandma’s house, which is right next to my house. Everyone brings a little bit of food, someone would bring the pies, someone would bring the turkey, the mash potatoes then we would sit down talk, laugh. And at the end of the day, each of us would say one thing we are grateful for.”


“I’m thankful for how magical 2021 has been, for the songs I’ve been able to write. But what I’m most thankful for is that after so much time, to have been able to reunite with the people I love most. To see and be able to hug them made my heart full.”


“I celebrate Thanksgiving with the family. Normally, we would go on a cruise trip this time of year, but there is COVID! So we’ll celebrate it at home in Puerto Rico. We have parties anywhere so it doesn’t matter where we are, we always have the best time!” 


“I celebrate with my family, my mother, my siblings, and my grandmother. We typically have turkey, arroz con gandules, potato salad, pasteles, a little bit of everything. There’s music playing, we’re dancing and having some good drinks.”


“Some of the traditions we have as a family is that we each bring a different type of dish that we can all share. And we always try to spend as much time together as possible, which makes my parents very happy and they feel loved.” 


“I spend Thanksgiving with my family. We eat turkey, potatoes, corn and we pray and give thanks to God for being alive, healthy, for our food, work, and our family.” 


First and foremost I’m thankful for being alive. The COVID-19 pandemic has been hard for many families around the world. For me, being alive is now more precious than ever.”


“This year brought many challenges, most of which we have gone through the worst part. First and foremost, I am thankful for my health, having gone through COVID was not fun at all and I am glad I had no trouble after. I am thankful for my family not only this year but every year. Finally, I am thankful for new beginnings.”

Luis Coronel Una Historia Más
Luis Coronel, “Una Historia Más” Courtesy Photo


“My favorite tradition is to go around the table and say what we are thankful for. This is something I do every day with my family and it takes on a special meaning in Thanksgiving. Being grateful for what you have instead of focusing on what you don’t have is the key to happiness.”


I’m really thankful to continue doing what I do. My Studio has been my sanctuary to try to connect with positive things during the pandemic.”


“I’m very thankful for the fact that life is going back to our ‘new normal’ and really absolutely love everything in my life. But one thing to point out this year is my little puppy who I’m obsessed with and brightens my days and is my bestie.”


“A tradition I have with my family is that each member has to cook their best dish or side for dinner. It’s not a successful Thanksgiving in my household if we don’t end up bickering, laughing, repeating family stories, and end up stuffed from dinner. Nothing like a nap after a thanksgiving meal!”


“One thing I’m thankful for today and always is there we are alive, we are healthy. I am thankful for that every single day. When it comes to traditions, we definitely eat turkey and not only on Thursday but the rest of the week … and the following week.”


“We eat turkey as is the American tradition, but we also have our own traditions that I’ve cherished since childhood. Music in my household is what unites us most, and we sing karaoke as a family every Thanksgiving. We also spend the day telling stories and jokes, and traditional Mexican food is a must at our tables.” 


Our Thanksgiving is very traditional. We have turkey, lots of food, and we enjoy our time as a family laughing, drinking, and singing.”


“I am most thankful that God brought my girlfriend Laura into my life, an angel that has changed me for the better, has brought out the best in me, and has given me happiness I never knew. I am also thankful for being Cuban and being able to fight alongside my colleagues and Cuban people all over the world for a free country #SOSCUBA.” 


“I am thankful for Mis Amores, my family, health, and love. It’s been a challenging year for my family so now more than ever, there’s so much to be thankful for. To do what I love and for people to love it back, to touch souls with my music made independently in my home with and for love. I’m thankful for my entire team of united women that have given me strength and have believed in me.”


“I have so many things to be thankful for this year starting with the love I have received from my fans, the opportunities that the industry is giving me on a daily basis, my health, my family, the projects we managed to carry out despite the obstacles. Having the opportunity to write songs with such talented people. I am very grateful to my team and I hope that next year will be full of more good news.”


“My uncle cooks for three days before Thanksgiving and we all celebrate and eat together. After dinner, we go around the table and say what we are thankful for. It is a great holiday I enjoy with my entire family.”


“I am thankful for everything I’ve learned. It’s been a challenging year for me emotionally, in my work, in my personal life. I think that it’s brought the best out of me to be a better person and fall back in love with every single part of what a music career is. This year I’ll be celebrating at home in Colombia with my family. Thanksgiving is basically the same day as my mother’s birthday so we’ll be having fun and giving thanks to her.”

Sebastian Yatra
Sebastian Yatra Erick Fernando Quezada


“I celebrate thanksgiving with loud salsa music in the background, everyone dressed up and my grandma’s arroz con gandules and my titi’s flan. I don’t eat turkey but the smell of it makes me miss the greasy quero and the big baked ham my mom makes with the pineapple on the side. The Cuban side isn’t too far from the Puerto Rican side but we sure combine the cultures. Nine times out of 10 I have my own coquito bottle and sing La India’s “Ese Hombre” with my titi and also talk about family memories. These are great traditions my family and I have. I love being with my family.”


“We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in Mexico but I’ve been in the U.S. a few times for and I’d spend time with family and friends. This year, I’ll be in the U.S. so I’ll be able to enjoy being with family again. It’s a really beautiful holiday that I don’t typically get to celebrate so looking forward to being able to do it this year.” 

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