10 Things You Will (Almost Always) Find In a Latin Bodega

Bodega. Colmado. Latin market. Whatever your preferred term is, I'm sure you have probably frequented a Latin grocery store at some point in your life.

For as long as I can remember, my father Freddy Castillo has worked in a bodega (and he currently owns one). As a young girl, I loved hanging out in them with my younger brother; together, we'd walk through the then-towering aisles, running our small fingers alongside detergent and cans of habichuelas, gravitating always towards the candies displayed behind the transparent counter. I especially loved observing the colorful characters who would pop in and out of the bodega - most with an interesting story to share with my dad. To me, bodegas are more than a corner store; people go there to share nostalgic stories of their upbringing, to look for employment, and much much more.

In honor of this gritty gem, below is a humorous, only semi-serious look at things and people you would most likely spot in a bodega - or outside of one. 

This piece is based on the author's experiences as a Dominican-American growing up in New York City.

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