Come 2016, Latino voters may hold enough political clout to make or break any presidential hopeful.
If the White House is hosting the big dance, Latinos are holding the guest list at the door, and if a candidate isn't on the VIP list, there will be no fiesta in the Oval Office.
But how do you get an invitation? It is a question that has baffled many contenders-in-chief, Republicans in particular, in recent years.
Granted, it is no easy task. For one, there is no one size fits all strategy. Latinos are not monolithic. There are great socioeconomic, educational, cultural and demographic variations that exist both between and within Latino ethnic groups.
An approach that might work with Dominicans may not fly with Colombians. A sombrero and a pava jibaro may both be hats, but beware if a candidate wears the wrong one to the Mexican Independence Day Festival or the Puerto Rican Day Parade.
Here is what some folks have done, and refrained from doing, to win the seemingly coy, not easily cajoled, Latino vote. Call it, if you will, "The politician's guide to wooing Latinos."
"Hola Newo Yorko! El stormo grande is mucho dangeroso," read the first tweet from @ElBloombito, a popular parody account aimed at poking fun at former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Spanish speaking alter ego, Miguel Bloombito.
Bloomberg, a Republican turned independent, was frequently lampooned for his Spanish pronunciation, or lack thereof. Yet, despite his frequently mangled, oftentimes hilarious, attempts at communicating with the city's Spanish-speaking residents, Bloomberg found a way to connect.
Latino New Yorkers didn't always agree with the policies of the billionaire, outspoken mayor, but they appreciated his efforts and found them endearing.
"There was nothing funnier than Bloomberg having a press conference in Spanish," said Luis Miranda, a managing partner at MirRam Group, a political consulting firm, "but now it's the standard for mayoral press conferences in NYC."
Despite an overwhelmingly Democratic electorate, Latinos in 2009 gave Bloomberg almost half the vote in an unexpectedly close race against Democrat William Thompson Jr.
"Latinos, even those that are English dominant, see it as a sign of 'respeto'," meaning respect, Miranda said. "A couple of words in Spanish can go a long way; fluency is gold!"
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus also recently noted that speaking Spanish, while not essential, would certainly be a bonus for any 2016 presidential candidate. He announced that the GOP is willing to spend $10 million to reach Latino voters.
A word of caution, however: Use this strategy wisely. You can't just put a sweater on a Chihuahua, call it Tequila and get a sexy Latina to comment on your man parts, even if she does it in Español.
California Republican gubernatorial candidate Tim Donnelly and the Latina actress he featured in a controversial campaign ad that did just that only managed to get an onslaught of criticism from the Latino community.
Get to know the familia
Latinos tend to have strong family bonds. Most family gatherings center around food and usually the entire clan shows up, invited or not.
It's no wonder, then, that during New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's 2012 re-election campaign, he spent a lot of time in Union City, home to the state's largest Hispanic population.
Whether it was sipping a cortadito Cubano, taking voter questions or announcing a major initiative at many of the area's restaurants, Christie aggressively pursued Latinos and found a meaningful way to get their vote: show up, listen and always answer "si" when someone offers a cafécito.
Christie won 51% of the Latino vote, a 19% improvement over four years, to defeat Democrat Barbara Buono and her Hispanic running mate in a Democratic-leaning state.
"The most successful candidates show up in Hispanic communities and don't wait for campaign season to begin. Christie worked on Latino engagement for years," said Bob Quasius, president of the national Latino group Café Con Leche Republicans.
After his victory, Christie said, "Find me another Republican who's won the Latino vote recently. It's about the relationships."
So much so that, despite the recent scandals that have rocked Christie's administration, most Latinos say that for now, they're sticking by the Republican governor.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, however, is "Taco Mayor" Joseph Maturo of East Haven, Connecticut, who taught us all a lesson on how not to incorporate food into a discussion about Latinos.