What Is Santa Claus In Spanish, 4 Names In Spanish For Santa Claus: Infographic

Yes, and he comes to towns, too, bringing presents to and Latin American girls and boys.

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But, what do you call Santa Claus in What about his reindeer? Santa is a beloved figure in the world, and with a few differences, he plays the same role as in the United States.

Do you want to know more about Santa Claus in

Keep reading and discover who delivers Christmas presents to Latin American children, what we call Santa Claus in, and how people celebrate with Christmas traditions.

Finally, we’ll learn some fun Santa-Claus-related vocabulary and find out about the things that Santa does in

Who Delivers Christmas Presents for Children?

Kids in Latin America and Spain receive Christmas presents every year, but the figure who delivers them may change from one country to another. According to a collection of polls, Christmas presents are delivered in Latin America by

Santa Claus (with his different names) El Niño Jesús (Baby Jesus) Los Reyes Magos (Wise Men) La familia (family)

Besides these characters, there have been other attempts to create more local or religious “Santas” with little success. Among these failed tries, you can count the following:


Santa Claus in Names

When Santa Claus does deliver presents in Latin America, he goes by a few different names:

Papá Noel

Papá Noel, or “Father Christmas,” is the preferred term in countries such as Uruguay, Argentina, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, and Spain. The name is a derivation from the French Père Noël, who has a story and origin similar to that of Santa Claus.

San Nicolás

In Latin American countries such as Honduras and Venezuela, children still call Santa by his original name: San Nicolás (Saint Nicholas). He was a Christian bishop, born in what is today Turkey in the 3rd century AD, who worked for the poor and the children and was associated with gift-giving.

Fun fact: try saying “Saint Nicholas” super fast and you’ll get a sound very similar to “Santa Claus.”

Viejito Pascuero

In Chile, they call Santa Viejito Pascuero which means “Old Man Christmas.” The story, image, and tradition are exactly the same as that of Santa Claus, they just like calling him another name. This one is my personal favorite.


Not to be confused with the weird baby jumping festival by the same name, Colacho is simply an affectionate way to refer to Santa in Costa Rica. San Nicolás, Nicolacho, Colacho. His image is the same as Santa, but in this country, he doesn’t deliver Christmas presents. That job is reserved for Baby Jesus.

Santa Claus

In many Latin American countries, Santa Claus is a well-established figure and they call him by the English term. In Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and El Salvador, Santa Claus in is sometimes called Santa Clós or Santa Cló to refer to the exact same character as in the United States.

Santa Claus in Image and Influence

The forces of globalization have made Santa Claus an international and irresistible figure. Poor Baby Jesus (not to mention Quetzalcóatl or el Niño Manuelito) is fighting an uphill battle against the ever-present story and marketing of the jolly old guy in red.

Many families in Latin America are Catholic, and parents try to keep their traditions alive for their children. But the kids also have Netflix, and there are no movies where Baby Jesus saves Christmas for everybody.

The appeal of Santa Claus in is that he has a feasible backstory that provides parents with answers for each of their children’s questions. Where does Santa live? How does he make all the toys? What are the names of his reindeer? Meanwhile, el Niño Jesús doesn’t have all that sorted out.

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Christmas Traditions in Latin America

Whether the great gift-giver is called Papá Noel, San Nicolás, or Santa Claus in, Latin American children receive their presents in one way or another. What’s more, la Navidad in these countries is rich in traditions and meaningful celebrations:

Santa Claus in Vocabulary

Santa Claus in, like his English counterpart, lives at the North Pole where his elves help him make all those toys. Let’s discover how Latin American children talk about his fantastic world:

El Polo Norte – North Pole

El duende, elfo – elf

El juguete – toy

La fábrica – factory

El gorro – hat

Los guantes – gloves

El cinturón – belt

El abrigo – coat

Las botas – boots

La barba – beard

El trineo – Sleigh

El saco de juguetes – sack of toys

La chimenea – chimney

Las galletas – cookies

La leche – milk

Los renos – reindeer

La nariz roja – red nose

Rodolfo – Rudolph

Besides Rudolph, the names of Santa’s reindeer are the same as in English, but here you have their meaning in

Brioso – Dasher

Bailarín – Dancer

Juguetón – Vixen

Acróbata – Prancer

Cupido – Cupid

Cometa – Comet

Relámpago – Blitzen

Donner represents the spirit of thunder and has no translation.

Things that Santa Does in

Now let’s see some of the things that Santa Claus does in, paying special attention to how the verbs work in the following sentences.

Los duendes hacen regalos para los niños. – The elves make toys for the children.

Santa Claus vuela por todo el mundo en su trineo. – Santa Claus flies around the world on his sleigh.

Rodolfo tiene una nariz roja. – Rudolph has a red nose.

Santa baja por la chimenea. – Santa comes down the chimney.

¡Santa se comió las galletas que le dejamos! – Santa ate the cookies we left for him!

¿Qué te trajo Santa Claus? – What did Santa Claus bring you?

Le voy a escribir una carta a Santa Claus. – I’m going to write a letter for Santa Claus.

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¡Feliz Navidad!

Merry Christmas! Santa Claus in is a fascinating figure just like in every other language. Moreover, he represents the spirit of Christmas and brings the best out in people. I hope that you found learning Santa’s story and meaning in as interesting as I did.

Sign up for a free class to talk about Santa Claus in with one of our native speaking teachers from Guatemala—and discover even more about the Navidad traditions in Latin America!

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