Best Spanish Pop Ballads




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We LOVE music at Casa Pura Vida, and music in Spanish is not only so much fun to listen to, but also helps so much with language acquisition. People oftentimes ask me how I learned Spanish, and the honest truth is that I learned it singing. I studied music in college before changing my major to Spanish, and when I arrived to Costa Rica to study abroad, I threw myself into learning the words to a myriad of pop songs. My love of Spanish music carried over into the classroom, where I used popular songs to teach everything from Spanish grammar to Human Rights. So it’s only natural that we are celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with our top 10 Spanish Ballads- and a fabulous giveaway from Multicultural Kids Blogs! (Note: All of the songs featured here are kid friendly- but not all of the videos are.) And don’t forget to subscribe to us on You Tube to listen to the entire playlist over and over! Please note that this post contains affiliate links to help keep Pura Vida Moms running.

Prepárame la cena by Calle 13

Calle 13 is one of my all-time favorite groups- admittedly they came on to the music scene with music that was quite explicit- and they won a ton of Grammys for their efforts. Since becoming mega-famous, they have focused their last two albums on highlighting the beauty of Latin America, (affiliate) and the inequality that exists in many Latin American countries (affiliate). This song is a chilling portrait of human trafficking- I dare you to first listen to it without watching the video and draw your own conclusions about what the lyrics mean. Hopefully ¡a todo volumen!

Corre! by Jesse & Joy

Jesse & Joy are a hugely talented brother-sister duo from Mexico City. This song, from the album Con quien se queda el perro (affiliate) is perfectly done- the piano intro, the haunting vocals, all of it. I remember playing this song in the classroom when a freshman student looked up at me during independent work time, tears in his eyes, and said “Miss, what is this song? I have to have it- it’s beautiful.” Enough said.

Mojado by Ricardo Arjona featuring Intocable

One of the most recurring themes of the migrant experience is that of Mexicans crossing the border into the United States in search of a better life. Ricardo Arjona, a Guatemalan born singer-songwriter (and absolute genius with his use of vocabulary in his songs) teamed up with Intocable to tackle the topic of illegal immigration through this honest and poignant song. From the album Adentro (affiliate).

No by Shakira

If you don’t know who Shakira is by now you’ve been living under a rock. (Mostly kidding?) Known throughout Latin America for her incredible voice and down-to-Earth lyrics, and in the crossover market for her blonde locks and non-replicable hip movements, this song talks about the healing power of leaving your anger behind. My favorite part ” Espero que no esperes que te espere después de mis veintiséis…” alliteration as only Shakira can. From the album Fijación oral volumen 1 (affiliate).

El duelo by La Ley featuring Ely Guerra

La Ley’s MTV Unplugged album is legendary (affiliate), and the best part about it is this ballad featuring the powerful improvised vocals from the Mexican singer Ely Guerra. There are several versions of this song from the Chilean rock band, but this version is timeless.

Rosas by La Oreja de Van Gogh

La Oreja de Van Gogh is a wildly successful band from Spain (affiliate), and I LOVE the unique quality of Amaia Montero’s voice as she speaks to the mistakes we make in love. I learned a lot of Spanish vocabulary through music, and here the word I remember looking up was empapada.

Tu recuerdo by Ricky Martin featuring La Mari de Chambao

Ricky Martin is, undoubtedly, one of the most taleted singers to ever walk this Earth. If you only know of him from his crossover image as the singer of “Livin’ la vida loca” I challenge you to listen to his entire MTV Unplugged Album (affiliate) – it’s on constant rotation at our house. This track is about remembering love lost- and the vocals are phenomenal.

La última vez by Julieta Venengas

If you haven’t heard of Julieta Venegas you need to listen to her Limon y sal album stat (affiliate). It is one of the most cohesive albums that I have ever heard, and I actually had to buy it twice because I wore out the first CD (thank goodness for the invention of  digital music!). This track is the most final break-up song ever written- hoy es la última vez que hablo contigo.

Fotografía por Juanes featuring Nelly Furtado

When I was very first learning Spanish, one of my favorite English artists was Nelly Furtado (Hey, Man! off of Whoa, Nelly¡ is an incredible track) (affiliate) and the Medellin-born Juanes was one of my favorite artists in Spanish (La camisa negra, anyone?) (affiliate). So when they teamed up on this song about long distance love (before cell phone photography) I was instantly hooked. This is another album that I had two copies of- wore the first one out!

Verme by Baby Ranks and Notch

So this is the only bilingual song in the list, and I actually prefer the album version (affiliate) but Notch and Baby Ranks havne’t released that as a video yet. A former student gave me a CD back in the day with his favorite songs on it. This song has been on my playlists in itnes and on my phone for over 10 years simply titled “I LOVE THIS SONG!!!!!” The rhythms evoke a Caribbean spirit like only a pair of Jamaican singers can, and well, I love it.

You can stream many of these albums for free with Amazon Prime, so make sure to join here! (affiliate)

This post was brought to you by the Multicultural Kid Blogs -definitely hop over to the other amazing Hispanic Heritage Month posts to learn more about our culture- and don’t forget to enter the giveaway below!


Hispanic Heritage Month Series 2016 | Multicultural Kid BlogsWe are so excited for our FIFTH annual Hispanic Heritage Month series and giveaway! Through the month (September 15 – October 15), you’ll find great resources to share Hispanic Heritage with kids, plus you can enter to win in our great giveaway and link up your own posts on Hispanic Heritage!

September 14
Hanna Cheda on Multicultural Kid Blogs: How to Pass on Hispanic Heritage as an Expat

September 15
Spanish Mama: Los Pollitos Dicen Printable Puppets

September 16
Hispanic Mama: Children’s Shows that Kids in Latin America Grew Up With

September 19
Spanish Playground: Authentic Hispanic Heritage Month Games Everyone Can Play

September 20
Tiny Tapping Toes: Exploring Instruments for Hispanic Heritage Month

September 21
Kid World Citizen on Multicultural Kid Blogs: 10 Fascinating Facts about Peru!

September 22
Spanish Mama: Printable Spanish-Speaking Countries and Capitals Game Cards

September 23
All Done Monkey: The Aztec – Top Books for Kids

September 26
Crafty Moms Share: A Look at Mexican Art

September 27
Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes: Children’s Books about Puerto Rico

September 28
La Clase de Sra. DuFault: Childhood Games – La Payaya and Corre el Anillo

September 30
Mama Tortuga: Sounds and Dances of Hispanic America

October 3
Hispanic Mama on Multicultural Kid Blogs: 6 Magical Places to Visit with Kids in Ecuador

October 4
La Clase de Sra. DuFault: La mes de la Herencia Hispana en la escuela

October 5
Pura Vida Moms

October 6
Embracing Diversity

October 7
Spanglish House

October 10
Mundo Lanugo

October 11
Kid World Citizen

October 12
MommyMaestra

October 13
inspired by familia

October 14
El Mundo de Pepita on Multicultural Kid Blogs

Don’t miss all of the great posts from previous years as well: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

Hispanic Heritage Month Giveaway!

Giveaway begins September 14 and goes through October 14, 2016.

Enter below for a chance to win one of these amazing prize packages! Some prizes have shipping restrictions. In the event that a winner lives outside the designated shipping area, that prize will then become part of the following prize package. For more information, read our full giveaway rules.

Grand Prize | Multicultural Kid Blogs Hispanic Heritage Month Giveaway

Grand Prize

-Month of free access to online Spanish home learning program from Calico Spanish
-If You Were Me and Lived in… series, Peru, Mexico, Brazil, and Portugal books from Carole P. Roman US Shipping Only
-Spark important conversations about diversity, inclusivity and acceptance with award-winning Barefoot Books! Collection includes Barefoot Books World Atlas, The Barefoot Book of Children, Children of the World Memory Game, The Great Race, Mama Panya’s Pancakes, Off We Go to Mexico, Up and Down the Andes, We all Went on Safari, We’re Sailing Down the Nile, We’re Sailing to Galapagos US & Canada Shipping Only
Aquí Allá CD from Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band US Shipping Only
-Animales CD from 123 Andrés US Shipping Only
-Best of the Bowl CD from Hot Peas ‘N Butter US Shipping Only
Juana and Lucas by Juana Medina (hard cover), El fútbol me hace feliz by Maribeth Boelts and illustrated by Lauren Castillo (paperback), Blankie/Mantita by Leslie Patricelli (board book) from Candlewick Press US & Canada Shipping Only
A Child’s Life in the Andes e-book plus music CD from Daria Music
-Hola Hello CD with lyrics in digital format from Mariana Iranzi
-T-shirt of choice (or equal value $18) from Ellie Elote US Shipping Only
-Scarves, coin purse and painted wood bracelets from Nicaragua, and a map puzzle of Central America from Spanish Playground US Shipping Only
Latin GRAMMY-winning album Los Animales from Mister G US Shipping Only

1st Prize | Multicultural Kid Blogs Hispanic Heritage Month Giveaway

First Prize

-If You Were Me and Lived in… series, Peru, Mexico, Brazil, and Portugal books from Carole P. Roman US Shipping Only
Aquí Allá CD from Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band US Shipping Only
-Animales CD from 123 Andrés US Shipping Only
-Best of the Bowl CD from Hot Peas ‘N Butter US Shipping Only
Juana and Lucas by Juana Medina (hard cover), El fútbol me hace feliz by Maribeth Boelts and illustrated by Lauren Castillo (paperback), Blankie/Mantita by Leslie Patricelli (board book) from Candlewick Press US & Canada Shipping Only
-Hola Hello CD with lyrics in digital format from Mariana Iranzi
-T-shirt of choice (or equal value $18) from Ellie Elote US Shipping Only
-Scarves, coin purse and painted wood bracelets from Nicaragua, and a map puzzle of Central America from Spanish Playground US Shipping Only
Olinguito, from A to Z! (bilingual) by Lulu Delacre, Rafi and Rosi by Lulu Delacre, Mamá the Alien (bilingual) y René Colato Laínez and illustrated by Laura Lacámara, Marisol MacDonald and the Monster (bilingual) by Monica Brown from Lee & Low Books US Shipping Only
-Ecuador Themed International Cooking Box from Global Gastronauts US Shipping Only
Ora de Despertar Ladino Children’s Music CD from Sarah Aroeste Hard copy if US winner; digital if international winner
T-shirt of choice from Mundo Lanugo US Shipping Only
Latin GRAMMY-winning album Los Animales from Mister G US Shipping Only

2nd Prize | Multicultural Kid Blogs Hispanic Heritage Month Giveaway

Second Prize

-If You Were Me and Lived in… series, Peru, Mexico, Brazil, and Portugal books from Carole P. Roman US Shipping Only
Aquí Allá CD from Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band US Shipping Only
-Animales CD from 123 Andrés US Shipping Only
-Best of the Bowl CD from Hot Peas ‘N Butter US Shipping Only
Juana and Lucas by Juana Medina (hard cover), El fútbol me hace feliz by Maribeth Boelts and illustrated by Lauren Castillo (paperback), Blankie/Mantita by Leslie Patricelli (board book) from Candlewick Press US & Canada Shipping Only
-Hola Hello CD with lyrics in digital format from Mariana Iranzi
-T-shirt of choice (or equal value $18) from Ellie Elote US Shipping Only
-Scarves, coin purse and painted wood bracelets from Nicaragua, and a map puzzle of Central America from Spanish Playground US Shipping Only
Culture Chest with the theme “Dancing in September” for Hispanic Heritage Month. Includes bilingual books Tito Puente, Mambo King and Me llamo Celia Cruz, both by Monica Brown and Rafael Lopez US Shipping Only
Spanish Alphabet Print (US Shipping Only) and single-use promo code for Spanish for kids language app from Gus on the Go
Latin GRAMMY-winning album Los Animales from Mister G US Shipping Only

Bonus Prize

Piñata de Laly | Multicultural Kid Blogs Hispanic Heritage Month Giveaway

Piñata from Piñatas de Laly Europe & US Shipping Only

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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  • Mari
    October 7, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    One of the things that I do to instill in my children their roots is mostly done through out the year at random times via sharing my story and through food and books.

    • Christa
      October 8, 2016 at 10:28 pm

      Hi Mari!
      Thanks so much for commenting on this post. I think that they manner in which you instill culture in your children is awesome. Food is such an important cultural experience!
      Please stop by and visit again soon!
      ~Christa