For Latinos the front porch is a spatial asset and is fully utilized part of the home. Because of the relatively mild climates found in Latin America, and due to a Spanish colonial-historical precedent that has favored a courtyard model of development, the use of outdoor space as part of the home is now commonplace within many Latino households. The front porch mimics the courtyard and transitional indoor-outdoor spaces found in many Latin American homes, where patios and laundry rooms are most often located in open air portions of the house’s floor plan. In many cases Latinos will expand or add on a front porch to an existing house. These porches are usually Spanish in design with arches, tile floors, stucco walls, wrought iron fixtures and balustrades. Residents place sofas, chairs, and tables on porches to reinforce it’s role as a social space.
The front porch is where Latinos become civic-minded and bond with their neighbors. From the porch residents observe what is happening out on the street, celebrate religious events, and socialize with family and friends passing by.
- Front Porch Placemaking: The Latino Connection to the Street, James Rojas, September, 2014.
- Latino Vernacular: Latino Spatial and Cultural Values Transforming the American Single-Family House and Street, James Rojas, November, 2014.