Religion is something that I think all Latinos can say is at the core of the family dynamic. In most Latino households, you should be able to find a picture of Jesus some where hanging.
When I was growing up, Religion was something that we never really spoke about. It was something I did go to school for. I spent 12 years in Catholic School. During that time I learned all I needed to know about being catholic, if that is what I was supposed to be. I was baptized as a baby, had my first communion when I was in second grade, and I did my confirmation in seventh grade. That is what you do when you go to Catholic school.
I know that many Latinos believe in more than just holy trinity (father, son, holy spirit). We tend pray to the virgin Mary and a plethora of saints. I think it really depends on who you talk to, but I know that different people may favor one saint over another. Some might pray to St. Anthony, for example, if they lost something and want to find it. They will light a seven day candle and if it was meant to be found then it will be found.
Which brings me to Botanicas. I am not sure I can fully explain these religious shop quite the way I need to. I am not sure I can do them justice. I do remember my mother going there quite often to pick up things. There were a few in the Bronx that I can remember when I was a kid. I am not sure if they are there any more. This is where my mother used to pick up Holy Water (there was specific kind I guess), incense, and those seven day candles I referred to.
I will briefly talk about this because I do not like to get into this too much. I know that there is Santeria that many people believe in and while I am not saying I do not believe in it, I know that I have experienced enough as a child with spirits. There have been plenty of group prayers in my grandmother’s house to lead me to believe that some thing going on beyond my comprehension as a child.
Regardless of beliefs, I know that Latinos tend to be very religious if not spiritual people that rely on faith to get through the tough times.