11 Things To Know: Latino Philadephia

Visitphilly | 7/20/2016, 9:46 p.m.
11 Things To Know: Latino Philadephia

Strength In Numbers:

1.The 2010 U.S. Census reported 187,611—that’s 12.3%—of Philadelphians are Latino.

•121,643 are Puerto Rican or of Puerto Rican descent.

•15,531 are Mexican or of Mexican descent.

•3,930 are Cuban or of Cuban descent.

•46,507 are of other Hispanic descent.

2.The hub of Latino culture and life in Philadelphia, El Centro de Oro, centered at 5th Street and Lehigh Avenues in the city’s Fairhill section of North Philadelphia, is home to residents descending from almost every Latin American country, a strong concentration of Puerto Rican families, along with non-profit organizations and many Latino-owned businesses.

3.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:

4.4. At the heart of El Centro de Oro is Taller Puertorriqueño, a thriving and full-to-the-brim cultural and arts center for Latinos since 1974. There, visitors find the tri-state region’s only bilingual bookstore and The Julia de Burgos Gift Shop, for original artwork, crafts and collectibles. In fall of 2016, Taller will relocate to the new El Corazόn Cultural Center (2600 N. 5th Street), a 25,000-square-foot space consolidating Taller’s operations under one roof, expanding current amenities such as Galería Lorenzo Homar, dedicated to Latin American and Caribbean art, with a permanent collection of works by Carlos Pascual, Daniel de Jesus, Marta Sanchez, Antonio Martorell, Ralfka González and many more, and adding a 200-seat theater, education facilities, a cafe and an enclosed playground to create the largest Puerto Rican/Latino-based arts and cultural facility in Pennsylvania. 2721 N. 5th Street, (215) 426-3311, tallerpr.org

5.Latino art thrives elsewhere in Philadelphia too at spots such at South Street’s Eyes Gallery, a repository for works from Mexico, Peru and elsewhere in South America (and sibling spot to the nearby Philadelphia's Magic Gardens, a walk-in mosaic of Mexican sculptures, tile and mirror); Indigo Arts, featuring the finest folk and contemporary art from Latino hotspots such as Cuba, Mexico, Brazil, Peru, Guatemala and Nicaragua; New Image Art & Framing, home to works of magical realism by Cuban artist Orlando Quevedo; East Passyunk Avenue’s RACSO Contemporary Arts, featuring works by contemporary Latin American artists, including the neighborhood’s own Miguel Antonio Horn.

6.The Penn Museum's renowned international galleries include the Mexico and Central America Gallery, featuring imposing ancient Mayan stone monuments from Piedras Negras in Guatemala and Caracol in Belize and Maya hieroglyphic writing, painted pottery, figurines and jade carvings. In the gift shop, folk art finds include reproductions of Pre-Columbian pottery, textiles and other handmade crafts from Central and South American artisans. 3260 South Street, (215) 898-4000, penn.museum

7.Among Philadelphia’s 3,800-some public murals in the acclaimed Mural Arts Program are beloved works by Philadelphia artists Michelle Angela Ortiz, 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