SEATTLE – Sept. 15 marks the start of Hispanic Heritage Month, a celebration of the history and cultures of people of Hispanic or Latinx ancestry who came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. Seattle and Washington benefit from a rich history of Hispanic and Latinx peoples making their mark on the cultural fabric of our great area.
Seattle boasts many communities with strong Latinx roots. South Park and nearby White Center have long served as home to many Latinx families and businesses. Sea Tac and Burien are also emerging as centers of Latinx culture in Seattle.
“Seattle and the PNW is home to many Latinx communities representing peoples of different countries, languages and cultural traditions,” said Osbaldo Hernandez, Co-owner of Frelard Tamales. “Hispanic Heritage Month should be a reminder to all of us about the positive contributions Latinx communities, including Latinx immigrants, have made in communities across the U.S. From their music to their dances, from their languages to their food, from their intellect and history, Latinx folks are a crucial part of America’s fabric who have helped write the history and the story of the United States.”
“Latinx Heritage Month is a great opportunity to discover and support Seattle’s Latinx-owned businesses,” said Monica Dimas, Chef and Founder, Milkwood & Company. “As a local chef and business owner, I understand the importance of recognizing and celebrating the cultural legacies of the Latinx communities that fuel Seattle not just this month, but all year round. 99.9% of Latinx and BIPOC-owned businesses are small businesses. When we talk about voting with our dollars it’s no secret that supporting Latinx and BIPOC entrepreneurs invests in a more equitable world.”
Throughout September and October, Seattle is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with virtual and in-person events, business promotions and more.
To support small businesses and diverse local communities in the Seattle region, Visit Seattle and Intentionalist are hosting Visit Seattle-sponsored tabs ($250 each) at local Seattle and King County small businesses within the Intentionalist network. For Hispanic Heritage Month, tab locations will be Los Agaves (owned by Jaime Mendez) on Tuesday, Sept. 21 and Askatu Bakery Café (owned by Estela Marie Degr Martinez) on Wednesday, Oct. 6. Follow Visit Seattle and Intentionalist for upcoming tab reveals, and visit this link for more information on the partnership.
Things to Do:
Check out the below list for additional ways to engage with the Latinx community in Seattle this month and beyond:
- Bailadores de Bronce – Mexican folkloric dance group that performs in and around Seattle and the Pacific Northwest. Check their Facebook page for upcoming performances.
- El Centro de la Raza – A hub for the Latinx community in Washington providing a wide range of multi-ethnic social services, as well as educational and cultural programs. On Saturday, Oct. 2, El Centro de la Raza will host its virtual Building the Beloved Community Gala.
- KEXP Aqui y Ahora (Here and Now) – Seattle radio station KEXP presents Aqui y Ahora (Here and Now): Without Borders, now through October 15. The month is dedicated to amplifying the voices, stories and music of the communities of Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Latin and Latinx diaspora.
- King County Library System Author Event – Silvia Moreno-Garcia, author of “Mexican Gothic,” will host a discussion moderated by KCLS Librarian José García on Wednesday, Oct. 6.
- Latino Community Fund of Washington State – Organization investing in the Latinx community. On Thursday, Oct. 14, Latino Community Fund of Washington State will host its 2021 Virtual Gala, an evening that will feature stories of resilience and social impact.
- MEXAM Northwest Festival – Uniting the U.S. and Mexico through music, film, visual arts and more, this festival runs now – Oct. 13. This year’s festivities will include virtual and in-person events, including poetry readings, concerts and dance performances.
- Sea Mar Fiestas Patrias – Presented by Seattle Center Festál in partnership with Sea Mar Community Health Centers, Sea Mar Fiestas Patrias celebrates Latino culture with music, folk dancers, poetry and demonstrations of tantalizing, time-honored foods. The festival, on Saturday, Sept. 18, is virtual.
- Seattle Latino Film Festival – The 13th annual edition of the film festival runs Oct. 8- 17. With North American and Northwest premieres of feature films, short films and documentaries, the hybrid festival will take place on an on-demand film festival platform and at Beacon Cinema.
- Seattle Public Library Author Event – On Friday, Sept. 17, Seattle Public Library will host a virtual author event featuring Sandra Cisneros to discuss her new book, “Martita, I Remember You/Martita, Te Recuerdo.” Cisneros is author of the beloved novel “The House on Mango Street.”
- The Sea Mar Museum of Chicano/a/Latino/a Culture – A museum in Seattle’s South Park neighborhood showcasing the history of Chicanx and Latinx people from post-war immigration to now.
- Third Place Books Author Event – On Tuesday, Sept. 21, Third Place Books and the Transnational Literature Series at Brookline Booksmith celebrate the release of “Three Novels” by Yuri Herrera, translated by Lisa Dillman. Herrera and Dillman will be joined in conversation by Betina González, author of “American Delirium.” This event is virtual.
Shop Latinx, Shop Local
The below is a curated list of local Seattle businesses and restaurants, Latinx-owned and operated:
- Bahia in Motion – Offering Brazilian dance and Capoeira classes in Fremont
- Birrieria Tijuana – Burien spot serving birria tacos, mulitas, burritos, and quesadillas from Fredy Zavala and wife Genoveva Arias
- Fulcrum Café – Shop from fifth-generation Costa Rican coffee farmer Blas Alfaro along with partners Lee Falck, Brian Jurus and Bobby Holt
- Gold Bar and Oro Kitchen – Trendy neighborhood bar serving craft cocktails and flavorful Latinx food
- La Carta De Oaxaca – Ballard favorite serving Oaxacan food. Owned and operated by three generations of the Dominguez family, helmed by head chef and matriarch Gloria Perez
- Millsweet Flower Co. – Floral designs from Jacki Lee, a first-generation U.S. citizen born to Cuban and Argentine parents
- Ravenna Brewing Company – Handcrafted beer in Ravenna from Elise and Tommy Ortega
- Resistencia Coffee – South Park neighborhood coffee shop owned by Coté Soerens and her husband Tim
- Ricky Styles Studio – Madrona salon from Jose Zerpa and Ricky Barragan offering hair coloring and styling services
- Salua – Lingerie and loungewear boutique in Madison Valley with designs ethically manufactured at two family-owned workshops in Columbia
- Tres Lecheria – Kevin Moulder pays tribute to his grandmother by putting his spin on her family’s recipes from Coahuila, Mexico
Head to Intentionalist for more Latinx-owned businesses in Seattle.
You can also visit the following links for more information on the history of Latinx people in Seattle, and how to support Latinx businesses in the city:
- Multicultural Seattle: Latinx & Hispanic – Visit Seattle Resource
- Latinx Cultural Heritage – Visit Seattle Resource
- Artist Profile | Gabriel Marquez
- Family Style | David Orozco
- Creative City | Dacia Sáenz
- Uncharted: Seattle | Alicia Mullikin
- Seattle Localist – Taste – Open Late
- 5 Fantastic Latinx-Owned Restaurants in Seattle
About Visit Seattle:
Visit Seattle has served as the official destination marketing organization (DMO) for Seattle and King County for more than 50 years. A 501(c)(6) organization, Visit Seattle enhances the economic prosperity of the region through global destination branding along with competitive programs and campaigns in leisure travel marketing, convention sales and overseas tourism development. Visit visitseattle.org.