Latino Heritage Month (until October 15) is a time that recognizes the many contributions and significant influence that people of Latinx heritage have made to the history,culture, and achievements of the United States.
Since its establishment by a group of pobladores from Mexico in 1781, Los Angeles in particular is home to a wealth of Latinx heritage and history. Below are some ways to celebrate, honor, and experience Latinx culture and tradition in the City of Angels, both this month and any time of year.
Head to downtown Olvera Street for a rich slice of history. Often referred to as the birthplace of Los Angeles, the tree-shaded, brick-lined block is home to some of L.A.’s most historic buildings, as well as dozens of Olvera Street shops, restaurants and other businesses.
While you’re there, be sure to check out El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument, a living museum that’s located near the site of the early Los Angeles pueblo, where 44 settlers journeyed more than a thousand miles across the desert from present-day northern Mexico and established a farming community in September 1781.
Eat, Drink & Chill in East Los Angeles
From street vendors to family-owned markets, you will find some of the best Hispanic food in East L.A., one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods that has a lineage of culture that can be found in its shops, businesses, and community. Check out the full list that L.A. Tourism and L.A. Taco compiled here along with some mouthwatering highlights below.
- Zingo Tacos – Tijuana-style tacos are all the rage in Los Angeles, and the owners of this family-run establishment have been a part of the food industry for over two decades. They offer a choice of asada, al pastor, pollo, or tripa, in a burrito, tacos, torta, or doraditas (a tortilla toasted over the carbon grill topped with meat), mulitas made with handmade tortillas, and more.
- Mariscos “El Chaka” is one of the many street food vendors you’ll find on the corner of Rowan Ave. and Cesar Chavez Ave. in East LA. While many vendors go unnamed, you can find almost any LA street food staple here at different times of the day, including empanadas, esquites, raspados, pupusas, tamales, fresh fruit and more.
- Huerta Produce – The owners went from managing several ice cream to providing the Eastside with fresh fruit, vegetable smoothies, juices, raspados, bionicos (a Mexican-style fruit parfait), and other tasty snacks.
- Mystyx Kafe – From working in coffee shops all over L.A. and spending his free time as a heavy metal-goth musician, El Cafetero Satanico, Julian Filth, is slanging some spooky and goth-inspired coffee’s, lattes, smoothies, and treats.
- Latinx with Plants – This Instagram page-turned-plant store in Boyle Heights honors the relationship that people of color have with plants.
Music & Arts
- SoFi Stadium’s brand new YouTube Theater is hosting some incredible LatinX acts including Los Angeles Azules, a Mexican group that plays the cumbia sonidera genre; Grupo Bronco, a Mexican group with a modern take on the Norteno style; Juanes, a Colombian musician and singer-songwriter, and more.
- Latinx Arts Alliance is a powerful collaboration between five distinguished institutions who represent and nurture LatinX art in L.A. The alliance includes La Plaza de Cultura Y Artes, Social and Public Art Resource Center (SPARC), Self Help Graphics, Museum of Latin American Art and the Vincent Price Art Museum.
- LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes celebrates the past and inspires the future by sharing the untold stories about the history, cultures, values and traditions of Mexican, Mexican Americans and all Latinos.
- Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) – The only museum in the United States dedicated to modern and contemporary Latin American and Latino Art. Located in Long Beach California.
- Listen to mariachi from Nancy Sanchez of Las Colibri, an all-female Mariachi company, and Mariachi Arcoiris de Los Angeles, is one of the world’s first (and L.A.’s first and only) LGBTQ mariachi groups.