Latino Voices

Latino Neighborhoods Becoming New Tourism Hot Spots


Latino immigration is reshaping entire neighborhoods throughout the country, and sparking new community trends. The vibrant culture of many of these neighborhoods-- their rich music, art and traditional food from all over Latin America-- has become a lure for thousands of tourists.

Take Visit el Barrio , a campaign promoting Spanish Harlem, also known as El Barrio, as a tourism destination. In promotional video, host Victor Cruz visits restaurants that offer traditional Latino food, art venues -- including museums, galleries and street art -- and nightlife. There are tips on the best salsa clubs and "mojitos" in Spanish Harlem.

New York isn't alone in trying to capitalize on these Latino enclaves. In Chicago, murals depicting Hispanic history and culture have become tourist attractions. In the mostly Mexican neighborhood of Pilsen, monthly walking tours allow visitors to appreciate the art and gain a further understanding of the community's identity, according to Fox News Latino.

Artist Jose Guerrero, who has painted many of the murals, has been leading tours in the Pilsen neighborhood for three decades. According to Fox News Latino, Guerrero said, "Pilsen has always been a spirited neighborhood and doesn't hide its identity." The themes depicted in the murals include immigration, displacement, education, Aztec culture, and Latino historical figures such as Pancho Villa.

On Miami's Calle 8, the heart of Little Havana, tourists are also being drawn to the the neighborhood's vibrant culture. The Calle Ocho Festival, which will be held in March, is part of the annual Carnaval Miami, a Pan-American celebration showcasing the diversity of South Florida. The Calle Ocho festival brings together more than one million people, including many tourists, each year for a day of Latin music, including big-name stars, and food from throughout Latin America.

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