Philadelphia PA - Philly honors Hispanic Culture thought the year with food, fun, and fiestas. Revelers can catch the Latino spirit at the Mexican Independence Day Festival on Penn’s Landing and the Puerto Rican Day Parade on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
Thought the year, arts and culture lovers have more to look forward to: the such as last year's opening of the El Corazon Cultural Center in El Centro de Oro and the North American debut of the exhibition Paint the Revolution: Mexican Modernism, 1910-1950 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Strength In Numbers:
- The 2010 U.S. Census reported 187,611—that’s 12.3%—of Philadelphians are Latino.
• 121,643 Philadelphians are Puerto Rican or of Puerto Rican descent.
• 15,531 Philadelphians are Mexican or of Mexican descent.
• 3,930 Philadelphians are Cuban or of Cuban descent.
• 46,507 Philadelphians are of other Hispanic descent.
- El Centro de Oro, centered at 5th Street and Lehigh Avenues in Fairhill, is the city’s hub of Latino culture. It’s home to residents from almost every Latin American country, a strong concentration of Puerto Rican families, non-profit organizations, and Latino-owned businesses.
- Each year, more than two million domestic leisure visitors to Greater Philadelphia are of Hispanic/Latino origin (source: Longwoods International). The city’s major attractions, including the Independence Visitor Center, Barnes Foundation, Liberty Bell Center, and The Franklin Institute, offer guides, maps, and/or tours in Spanish.
Arts & Culture:
- Latino art thrives in Philadelphia.
• Taller Puertorriqueño, in El Centro de Oro’s new El Corazόn Cultural Center, has dedicated its gallery to Latin American and Caribbean art, with a permanent collection of works by Carlos Pascual, Daniel de Jesus, Marta Sanchez, Antonio Martorell and Ralfka González.
• The Central American and Mexican galleries of the Penn Museum feature ancient Mayan stone monuments from Piedras Negras in Guatemala and Caracol in Belize and Mayan hieroglyphic writing, painted pottery, figurines, and jade carvings.
• South Street’s Eyes Gallery stocks a repository for works from Mexico, Peru and beyond—and is the sibling of the nearby Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, a walk-in mosaic of Mexican sculptures, tile and mirror; Indigo Arts feature fine folk and contemporary art from as Cuba, Mexico, Brazil, Peru, Guatemala, and Nicaragua; New Image Art & Framing has works of magical realism by Cuban artist Orlando Quevedo; and East Passyunk Avenue’s RACSO Contemporary Arts features works by contemporary Latin American artists, including the neighborhood’s own Miguel Antonio Horn.
- Among the 3,800-plus murals that adorn walls and public spaces throughout the city thanks to the acclaimed Mural Arts Philadelphia are beloved works by artists Michelle Angela Ortiz, 9th Street Italian Market resident and advocate for immigrants’ rights, and Cesar Viveros, painter of The Sacred Now: Faith and Family in the 21st Century (also known as the Pope Francis mural), among others. Also not-to-be-missed: Fuego Nuevo at Germantown and Girard Avenues; Crusando el Charco at 5th and Norris Streets; Celebrando Nuestra Cultura at 5th and Somerset Streets. muralarts.org
- Philadelphia’s yearly festivals and parades include Carnaval de Puebla, South Philadelphia’s vibrant pre-Cinco de Mayo procession showcasing folk traditions from the Mexican state. Semana Mexicana dedicates a week to Mexican culture, beginning with the raising of the Bandera de México at City Hall, continuing with Mexican Restaurant Week, and concluding with Cinco de Mayo parties in Center City and Kennett Square in Chester County. Spring brings the groundbreaking Philadelphia Latino Film Festival. Summer means the Hispanic Fiesta, Caribbean Festival, and Mexican Independence Day Festival, part of the PECO Multicultural Series on the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing. Hispanic Heritage Month stars El Centro de Oro’s Feria del Barrio, an outdoor celebration of Latino art and culture and the Puerto Rican Day Parade and Festival, drawing thousands to show island pride on the Ben Franklin Parkway.
Food & Fun:
- Also thriving: The Latino food scene. Among its stars are “Iron Chef” Jose Garces, a Bears fan with more than a dozen popular restaurants, including Amada, Distrito, Volvér, and the incredibly convenient to the NFL Draft site, Buena Onda. Chef Christina Martinez has achieved street-fare perfection, right down to handmade masa tortillas, at acclaimed South Philly Barbacoa. David Suro Piñera, a Guadalajara, Mexico native, is widely credited with introducing Philadelphia to upscale Mexican fare via Rittenhouse’s elegant Tequilas restaurant. He’s also the founder of artisan tequila brand Siembra Azul. Although it’s commonly referred to as the Italian Market, the blocks of vendors along South 9th Street from Fitzwater to Wharton Streets have recently become a top destination for tortas, tamales, and tacos at Blue Corn, Los Taquitos de Puebla, Mole Poblano and fresh market Tortilleria San Roman, among others.