The Ultimate Latinx-Owned Gift Guide

box, bottle of exfoliant, beauty products, eye shadow, mug

As the holiday season moves full steam ahead, the inevitable dread for those who aren’t quite the natural gift-givers begins to set in. But fear not, Luz has you covered. We’ve shared our staff gift picks and our fave food items for those pesky stockings and holiday parties. Now it’s time to keep our fave Latinx-owned businesses on the good list. You can stay off the naughty list by impressing the masses with your gift choices while also supporting Latinx products. What’s better than that?


The trick to gifting candles is gifting one the receiver relates to. Try gifting that zodiac lover a zodiac sign-themed candle. Got a quirky friend? Try a candle that smells like a celebrity (yes, these things exist). Weird, but very unique. Have a friend who is obsessed with Harry Styles? A candle exists for that too – a Harry Styles-themed candle. So, if your friend loves a good candle burning in their home we’ve got a few on our minds:

Bonita Fierce

These Latino-inspired candles are perfect. With scents that are reminders of their culture, do we even have to say anything more?

copuito candle

Vela Negra

If your friend isn’t into the adorable packaging and instead wants a very simple candle that still smells bomb, Vela Negra comes with all-black packaging. Ideal for them, and fits in more sober or minimalistic styles.


Sometimes a thoughtful card and a handpicked book are enough. For those booklover friends you can gift them a book from their favorite author, a limited edition book, or anything that they may enjoy.

For some inspiration, we’ll give you an example. There once was a secret santa exchange for a friend who had just gotten a puppy, and knowing she would be that wild dog mom (no shame), I bought her Dogstrologyby Luna Malcolm. Yes, an astrology book about dogs so you can know their personality, weaknesses, you name it. She loved it. So as you can see, presents don’t have to be pricey; it should just make the other person think, “Wow, they really know me.”

Latinx in Publishing

So for all your book purchasing needs, Latinx in Publishing can help you purchase from independent Latinx-owned bookstores. And you can find books written by Latinas here.


Many Latinx-owned businesses sell apparel, whether it’s a boutique, custom-made shirts, or artists’ merch. For any clothing item as a gift, make sure you know their correct size because keep in mind, many of these small retailers don’t offer exchanges. Then think about what they like, are they Bad Bunny fans? Do they wear simple tees with no design? Or do they like wearing something with a bold statement?

Hija De Tu Madre

If your friend likes wearing shirts with a relatable saying, check out Hija De Tu Madre. Any of their apparel will make your friends feel empowered, all while looking good.

Luz Shop

If you didn’t know, your fave Latina publisher also makes apparel that you can gift to all the ladies and allies in your life. Who wouldn’t appreciate a shirt that says they’re allergic to machismo?!


#Rokeras WYA🎸👇?! Collection drops today @ 9am PT. #fyp #latina #latinas #latinx #BenefitOfBrows


For the people who have makeup lover friends, listen up. Places other than Ulta and Sephora do exist. These Latina-owned businesses care about how the makeup looks on different shade ranges because they know Latinas come in all shades. Their product presentation also makes for a festive and fun gift. Yes, these are perfect presents to gift your friends, but who said you can’t treat yourself and buy some products for yourself too?

Prados Beauty eye shadow

A La Antigüita 💦🧼 #lavaderitoss #lavadero #alaantigüita #mexicana #latina #hispana #mexicancheck #fyp #foryoupage #fypage #makeup #makeuphacks

And for those tools that touch our face almost every day, all makeup lovers should also be enthusiastic about keeping those brushes clean and bacteria-free. So for that, check out:


This mini lavadero is perfect for cleaning those makeup brushes and sponges. The mini zote’s cuteness is to die for.


A La Antigüita 💦🧼 #lavaderitoss #lavadero #alaantigüita #mexicana #latina #hispana #mexicancheck #fyp #foryoupage #fypage #makeup #makeuphacks


Skincare products and wellness are always good gifts to give to anyone. There are a few questions you can ask yourself to know what to buy for the other person. If you’re buying skincare, have they mentioned a product they wanted to try? Is there a natural ingredient they love and swear by? Do you want to gift them something that they need or a little extra for that self-care day? Here are a few Latinx-owned ideas:


They’re all about that good cactus. We all know cactus has what seems like a million uses and Nopalera has mastered the cactus for skincare. They have some cute and heavenly products for your skin and body. Their cactus flower exfoliant is a must-try and a must-have.

Nopalera cactus flower exfoliant

Today at Cultured South #atl #atlanta

Becalia Botanicals

They sell bath soaks, bath bombs, and body butter with unique scents like horchata, cocoa, coco leche, and hibiscus. Perfect gifts for anyone who wants to pamper themselves. It sounds like a dream!


Today at Cultured South #atl #atlanta

What are you waiting for? Get on over to some of these Latinx-owned brands and wait for the smiles they produce when that gift-receiver tears away that heart-felt packaging. Sustainability pro-tip: try using newspaper and grocery store paper bags as wrapping. We haven’t bought gift wrapping paper in years! Happy Holidays!

an image of a pile of books

This article is part of a series developed in partnership with Project Pulso.

Latino history is vital to the American narrative - there is no America without Latino contributions. Despite this, Latino storytelling and history are increasingly being sidelined in educational institutions. The issue deepens when we look at the emerging trend of book banning.

What is the Modern Book Ban?

Book banning is the act of removing books from reading lists, libraries, or bookstores based on content disagreements. Often done with the pretense of safeguarding children, the majority of these challenges come from parents and library patrons. However, elected officials, school boards, and even librarians can also be champions of imposed ignorance - after all, they know knowledge is power.

Recently, the ALA reported an "unprecedented volume" of book challenges. This is alarming for multiple reasons:

  • Censorship: Book banning is fundamentally a form of censorship. Although the First Amendment protects against government censorship, private individuals or organizations face limited restraint. This makes book banning a primary example of legal censorship in the U.S.
  • Democracy at Risk: At the core of democracy is the free exchange of ideas. By constraining this, we challenge the principles on which the U.S. was built. Censorship often paves the way to tyranny, allowing a small group to dominate the narrative.
  • Stagnation: Book bans impede societal progression by avoiding challenges to prevailing beliefs. To quote English writer George Orwell from his eerily prescient dystopian novel “1984”: “The best books are those that tell you what you know already.” Do we aspire to a society that shuns diverse thought? Book bans lead fully in that direction.
Marginalization: Such bans further alienate underrepresented communities. With Latinos already underrepresented in literature, these bans exacerbate the problem.

Latino Representation: The Understated Crisis

Despite making up a significant portion of the K-12 public school population, Latino students are presented with textbooks that overlook or barely touch upon key topics in Latino history. Out of the books published for young readers, only 5% concern or are authored by Latinos. This void extends beyond just fictional narratives.

Recent bans in states like Texas and Florida are erasing the already sparse representation Latinos have. Essential books reflecting Latino experiences, such as My Name is María Isabel, are disappearing from shelves. Project Pulso underlines this issue in their post:

Even beyond Latino literature, there's a broader attack against critical theory. This crusade aims to stifle discussions on racism, sexism, and systemic inequality. In a single year, 2,539 books faced bans, according to PEN America. A startling number of these pertained to LGBTQ themes, protagonists of color, race, and racism.

A Spotlight on Banned Latina Authors

Amidst the unsettling rise in book bans across the U.S., Latina authors have found themselves at the epicenter of this censorship storm. These authors not only highlight the complexities of Latino heritage but also bridge gaps in understanding, weaving tales that resonate across boundaries. Many invaluable works by Latina authors have been banned, including:

  • “The House of the Spirits” by Isabel Allende: Spanning generations, this saga chronicles the lives of the Trueba family in Chile, accentuating the mystical powers of its female characters. Challenges against it cite reasons like its "pornographic" nature and alleged attacks on Catholicism.
  • “The House on Mango Street” by Sandra Cisneros: Through vignettes, this novel paints the life of Esperanza Cordero, a young Chicana in Chicago. Bans have been enforced based on claims that it instigates skepticism against "American values."
  • “Out of Darkness” by Ashley Hope Pérez: Set against the backdrop of 1930s Texas, this novel delves into the love between a Mexican American girl and a Black teen. Challenged for its graphic nature, it's deemed "sexually explicit" and has earned a place on the Top 10 Most Banned Books list.
  • “The Poet X” by Elizabeth Acevedo: The narrative revolves around 15-year-old Xiomara, who channels familial tension into her poetry. Accusations against it range from being "anti-Christian" to violating religious safeguards.
  • “How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents” by Julia Alvarez: This novel charts the journey of the Garcia sisters, uprooted from their Dominican heritage, as they grapple with a starkly contrasting life in New York, touching on themes of identity, family, and culture.
  • “Like Water for Chocolate” by Laura Esquivel: This enchanting novel narrates the intriguing history of the De La Garza family in Mexico, where love, tradition, and magic blend seamlessly. It delves deep into themes of forbidden love, family obligations, and the transformative power of food.
  • “Bless Me, Ultima” by Rudolf Anaya: Set in New Mexico; this narrative introduces us to Antonio Marez and Ultima, a healer. As Antonio steps into manhood, Ultima becomes his guiding light, illuminating his path through childhood bigotry, familial crises, and the mysteries of spirituality.

The increasing trend of book banning, especially of Latino literature, is a pressing concern. Not only does it threaten our democratic principles and societal growth, but it also amplifies the marginalization of already underrepresented communities. Our society's richness lies in its diversity, and by stifling these voices, we risk losing an integral part of our narrative. It's time to reassess and recognize the value of all stories, regardless of their origin.