America’s history is cemented to Latino culture. It’s not just because Mexico is our next door neighbors (who’ve inexplicably never called the cops to bust up our insane underage party), which actually owned a huge chunk of our country way back before Texans even dreamed about being so obnoxious. It’s more because, in our nation of immigrants, Latinos’ contributions have been in overdrive for the last few generations.
You don’t have to have roots in Mexico, Puerto Rico or South America to name your kid after these scholars, artists, warriors and politicians. You just need to respect their contributions. Also, being able to roll your “RRrrrrrs” helps.
Names For Boys
From leaders in the fields to dudes who’ve written that musical that you have on repeat and can’t seem to stop listening to even though you think it’s starting to get unhealthy … your baby would look good in one of these handles.
For: Cesar Chavez
Why: Chavez worked tirelessly under brutal pushback for the rights of farm workers in America. A perfect name for a kid who’ll grow up to be a fighter. Also, considering how many places are being named after him, your kid will always feel at home.
For: Lin Manuel Miranda
Why: “Who’s your boy named after?” “My wife’s grandfather, what about your boy?” “That Puerto Rican guy who wrote the definitive Broadway show of the last 10 years, which won 11 Tonys and wed hip hop to the founding of our nation.” Game, set, match.
For: Octaviano Larrazolo
Why: Dude was the first Hispanic U.S. Senator way back in the 1920s. He was also dogged promoter of rights for Latinos which deeply influenced how they were represented in the state constitution of New Mexico, which he represented. Also, should your kid become a Dr., he can go by Doc Oc, which is badass.
For: Dezi Arnaz
Why: A consummate entertainer, Dezi normalized the experience of Latino Americans on the small screen as the co-creator of I Love Lucy. This name will also ensure you laugh every time your kid says he’s home.
For: Severo Ochoa
Why: Ochoa received a Nobel prize in Medicine for his work in the synthesis of RNA. He also has an asteroid named after him, which totally rocks.
Names For Girls
Boundary breakers and fighters, these are the women who have added their amazing talents to shape the country. And at least one of them has done it without even getting out of her robe. Your girl will thank you for any of these names.
For: Loreta Janeta Velázquez
Why: The badass woman fought in the Civil War disguised as a man named Harry Buford. She was unmasked and returned 3 separate times, eventually becoming a double agent spy. The fact that no one is sure which parts of her story are true sort of proves that she was pretty good at the whole spy thing.
For: Nydia Velazquez
Why: Velazquez is the first Puerto Rican-American to be elected to Congress. She works tirelessly to get Latinos to register to vote, and is the first Hispanic woman to chair a House standing committee. Which sounds hard on the legs.
For: Sonia Sotomayor
Why: For her work on the Supreme Court where she sits with the Notorious R.B.G. A strong advocate for equality, Sonia is a fine namesake for any girls who will grow to be judgy or prefer to sit on the bench.
For: Eva Longoria
Why: Because she’s Eva freaking Longoria and has put her name on basically everything … except your baby.
For: Fabiola Cabeza de Baca Gilbert
Why: Fabiola was crucial to the history of the Southwest. Her work modernized the home-lives of rural women there and you could argue that the amazing food of New Mexico would be much more bland without her efforts. She was absolutely fab.