Here’s How to Support the Local Hispanic and Latinx Communities Every Week of Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month begins September 15, and the QC is full of ways to celebrate and support.

Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15 by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of Americans whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. According to the Library of Congress, Hispanic Heritage Month started with a one-week celebration in 1968, and expanded to a full 30-day period in 1988.

September 15 is significant because it’s the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18 as well.

Charlotte boasts dozens of ways to support the Latinx and Hispanic communities. Here are some of our favorite ways to support Hispanic and Latinx-owned businesses, organizations, festivals and more every weekend of Hispanic Heritage Month.

NOTE: All events subject to change as a result of COVID-19 protocols. We will keep our list as updated as possible, however, be sure to check each event/business website for the most up-to-date information.

September 15 – 19

DANCE

The 31st Annual Festival Latinoamericano: September 18 and 19 at Symphony Park. North Carolina’s oldest Latin American cultural event, organized by the Latin American Coalition, returns for its 31st year with two days of live performances, visual artists, Latin American food, and handmade crafts.

The weekend also features an interactive street festival with activities for the whole family. The concert featuring several acts including Jerry Rivera will take place Saturday. Buy tickets here. The cultural festival is Sunday and no ticket is required.

EAT

Cooking demo and buffet prepared by Chef Andres Prussing from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sept. 16 at the Marriott City Center, 100 W. Trade St.

Attendees will get to watch Chef Prussing prepare dishes like causa limena and arroz con leche, and sample sancocho, sopaipillas, arepas, salads, Puerto Rican arroz encebollado, ropa vieja, platano maduro, mahi mahi, shrimp and more. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased here. Proceeds benefit LAWA: Latin Americans Working for Achievement.

WORSHIP

Hispanic Heritage Celebration Day at the Billy Graham Library: 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 18.

This all-day event will include both outdoor and indoor activities for the family, featuring live worship music from Daniel Calveti and Raul Sanchez and a special performance from Yoly Pacheco. It will also include specialized Journey of Faith tours, a unique display of items pulled from the archives that highlight Billy Graham Crusades in Latin countries, and kids’ crafts. Reserve your spot here.

READ

Read the Plaza Midwood Book Club Crawl‘s October title: Children of the Land by Marcello Hernandez Castillo. Available as a physical copy or e-book from the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, the book contains Castillo’s recollection of his and his family’s encounters with a system that treats them as criminals for seeking safe, ordinary lives. He writes of the Sunday afternoon when he opened the door to an ICE officer who had one hand on his holster, of the hours he spent making a fake social security card so that he could work to support his family, of his father’s deportation and the decade that he spent waiting to return to his wife and children — only to be denied reentry. The Plaza Midwood Book Club Crawl will discuss the book at a virtual event on Oct. 21. Learn more here.

LISTEN (with kids!)

The Melody of Latin American Stories, presented by Criss Cross Mangosauce and sponsored by the Arts and Science Council’s Culture Blocks. A virtual event that takes place at 6 p.m. Sept. 15 and again at 6 p.m. on Oct. 20.

Travel and share a glimpse of Latin American childhood connecting songs and forgotten melodies with its illustrations during this bilingual virtual storytime. Many of these stories are not even represented in picture books, but together we will bring these traditions to life. More info here.

September 23 – 26

EAT

Chilito Tacos. Located at Resident Culture Brewing. 2101 Central Ave. This pop-up shop is the brainchild of Chef Hector González-Mora, who grew up in Los Angeles and hopes to bring his Angeleno and Mexican roots into the dishes that are quickly becoming beloved by the Queen City. Try the pork belly breakfast tacos or go meatless with egg (migas style, w. a kick!), bean, potato and cheese.

Manolo’s Latin Bakery. 4405 Central Ave. Charlotte’s first Hispanic bakery was founded by Manuel “Manolo” Betancur who immigrated from Colombia to Miami in 2000 with just two pairs of pants, two shirts, a pair of shoes, a little money and no ability to speak English. Manolo bought Las Delicias Bakery in 2011 and renamed it Manolo’s Bakery in 2018. 

His motto for the bakery?  “Our bread. Our people. Our future.”

“Our bread” represents our tradition, from our home countries to this new land. It is something that makes us proud.

“Our people” refers to the brave women and men who dared to come to this country. Their sacrifice is a fundamental piece of this nation.

“Our future” ensures that the culture and values our people bring is not only conserved but instilled from generation to generation.

And even though the bread is a must-try, you’ll also love the huge variety of cakes, pastries and even gluten-free cheese bread.

VIEW

Check out public art installations “PAVERS: A STORY” AND “COMMUNITY” by the Los Angeles-based Roberto L. Delgado and Rude Calderón at CMPD’s Hickory Grove Station. 5727 N. Sharon Amity Rd A.

“Pavers: A Story” incorporates images provided by residents and police officers in the Hickory Grove community and depicts the history and culture of Charlotte.

The colorful pavers decorate the facility sidewalks and lead to the outdoor plaza where “Community,” the 12-foot, 3,200-pound sculpture, is located. The sculptural work, made of basalt, glazed ceramic tile and stainless steel, is topped by a travertine onyx.

“The solar lens in the shape of a hornets’ nest,” Calderón said, “is a metaphor for hope and understanding.”

October 1 – 3

LEARN

Art Without Walls presented by the Latin American Chamber of Commerce Charlotte. 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 1. Collective Cafe: 1031 Matthews-Mint Hill Road Suite B.

This program will share the experiences of immigrant students in high schools throughout the North Carolina public school system through a creative outlet, giving them the opportunity to portray their stories, struggles, successes and emotions. It will also educate participants on immigration in America while encouraging participants to take up art as a practice.

SHOP/EAT

Lupita’s Carniceria y Tortilleria. 5316 South Blvd and 5210 N. Tryon St. When the Jaramillo family expanded their grocery store from Mexico City to Charlotte, they loved the welcoming, friendly people in the Queen City. And Charlotte loves them back. Their fresh meats and corn tortillas have quickly become legendary for carry-out taco nights and their homemade sauces take any dish to the next level.

FLY

Traveling? If you’ll be in the Charlotte-Douglas Airport, you can check out some public art by Nico Amrtegui, a local artist who was born and raised in Bogota, Colombia. His murals “Catawba Queens” and “We are All on the Same Plane,” are a celebration of women.

“As the Queen City grows, we look to cherish those that came way before us while embracing residents rooted here for generations just as much as the city’s many transplants,” Amortegui said in a statement to ASC. “Whether passing through or coming home, these women serve to remind us of the rich history of the Charlotte area and also to note the cultural heartbeat that thrives here.”

As part of CLT’s ongoing terminal improvement program, ASC, in partnership with the Public Art Commission and CLT, commissioned artists to create original artworks that were digitally reproduced to scale and installed on select “hold room” walls on CLT Concourses A & B. Learn more here.

Oct. 8 – 10

CELEBRATE

HOLA Charlotte Festival from noon to 6 p.m. Oct. 9 on Tryon Street from Stonewall to Fourth Street.

The ninth annual Hola Charlotte Festival is the largest Hispanic Heritage celebration in the QC, highlighting Latin American culture and all its richness. 

In addition to multiple musical performers, the festival will feature a cultural village where cultural organizations from across Charlotte will come together to celebrate the traditions of countries such as Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, México, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Perú. Each country will proudly display authentic items and musical instruments from their native land in their own booth. Attendees can enjoy music, visit each “village” and learn about different cultures in a friendly environment, and — who knows — maybe even try on some typical attire from Latin America.

The musical lineup and more details will be announced soon; click here for more info.

EAT

Tacos Rick-O. Food truck — find the schedule here. Ricky Ortiz was born and raised in Durango, Mexico where he was inspired by the bold street food flavors. The taste of authentic Mexican food is something he has always been passionate about. The food truck menu has mouthwatering classics like cheesy braised beef tacos, and twists on old classics like the fried cheesecake burrito. And soon he’s opening a new concept in NoDa. Follow him on Instagram at @RickysNoda for updates.

Oct. 15 (and beyond)

SUPPORT

There are so many organizations doing life-changing work that benefits the Latinx community all year long. Here are a few who can always use your support:

Latin Americans Working for Achievement

Circle de Luz

Latin American Coalition

Latin American Chamber of Commerce Charlotte

Soy Latino Como Tu

The Mint Museum’s Latino Initiative

Enlace Charlotte

Know of an amazing Hispanic/Latinx-owned business or organization we missed? Please let us know on any of our social media, you’ll find us at @scoopcharlotte wherever you look.

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