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Interpreting the Evidence

Spanish American Bodega "La Victoria," n.d.

  • Documents in this Activity:
  • Historical Eras:

    Postwar United States (1945 - 1970)

  • Thinking Skill:

    Historical Issues - Analysis & Decision-Making

  • Grade Level:

    Lower Elementary
    Upper Elementary
    Middle School
    High School
    College University

  • Topics:


  • Primary Source Types:


  • Regions:

    New York City
    New York State

  • Creator:

    NYS Archives Partnership Trust Education Team

  1. Load Spanish American Bodega "La Victoria," n.d. in Main Image Viewer

Suggested Teaching Instructions

Document Description
Photograph of the exterior of "La Victoria," a Spanish-American grocery store, [New York City], n.d.
Historical Context
A bodega, or bodeguita, is a convenience store specializing in Latino groceries. A bodega may sell a number of items, including fruits, vegetables, meats, traditional fare, and household convenience items. The rapidly expanding Hispanic population in the United States has caused bodegas and other stores specializing in Hispanic cuisine to increase in popularity. Due to the family structure and ties typical in Hispanic cultures, Hispanics have influenced the grocery markets with their purchasing power.  

Hispanic cuisine varies from family to family and from region to region. There is a great variety and balance among a dish’s heat, spiciness, and sweetness. Also, regional taste preferences determine how common staple foods such as tortillas, beans, meats, yuccas, corn, and sausages are prepared.

Essential Question
What is the role of businesses in a culture?
Check for Understanding
Describe the scene in the photograph and explain the role of the grocery store in this community.
Historical Challenges
Compare the bodega to the convenience stores of today. Why do they remain in business with competition from large chain stores such as Wal-Mart?
Find out the translation of the word bodega. Find a photograph of a bodega that is in business today.
Interdisciplinary Connections
Home and Career: Create on paper or in your kitchen a traditional Latino meal. Choose a menu item and design an advertisement for it. Include a recipe.
Math: Rafael bought one pound of black beans at $0.40/pound, seven vegetables at three for $1.00, and a bunch of fresh cilantro for $0.99. How much did he spend? How much change did he receive back from a twenty dollar bill?