King County and Washington state are brimming with Hispanic and Latinx history–it’s all around us! Many place names, including the San Juan Islands, Fidalgo Island and the Strait of Juan de Fuca, reflect Spanish exploration and early claims to this land. Dive deeper into Latinx history in Washington state at History Link. (https://www.historylink.org/File/7901)
Hispanic Heritage Month, celebrated from September 15 through October 15, honors the history, culture and contributions of Hispanic and Latinx people. This recognition sets the stage for celebrations as countries including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, Chile and Belize all recognize their national independence days during these four weeks. According to the 2020 census, 10 percent of the King County population identifies as Hispanic or Latino.
Latinx culture has shaped our region. King County is home to people, museums and organizations that share Latinx heritage and serve the community. The South Park neighborhood in Seattle, along with the White Center and Burien business districts, houses many Latinx business such as mercados, panaderías, taquerías and canicerías.
Jump on Metro to experience this history and culture yourself!
Sea Mar Museum of Chicano/a/Latino/a Culture
The first of its kind in the Pacific Northwest, the Sea Mar Museum of Chicano/a/Latino/a Culture showcases the history of Chicano/a/Latino/a culture from post war immigration to present time. The museum is currently open Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Get there using Metro route 132. Visit their website for more information https://seamarmuseum.squarespace.com/
El Centro de la Raza
Established in 1972, El Centro de la Raza (The Center for People of All Races) is an organization grounded in the Latino community of Washington state. They host community events, provide child and youth programs, human and community services and so much more. Their historic building in Seattle’s Beacon Hill neighborhood and their Federal Way office are currently closed to the public due to COVID-19, but there’s plenty of resources and information available on their website at https://www.elcentrodelaraza.org/.
South Park Neighborhood
The commercial district centered around Fourteenth Avenue South and South Cloverdale Street includes many Mexican and Hispanic restaurants, markets and businesses. The South Park branch library offers an extensive Spanish language collection and bilingual programs. While you’re there, stop by Cesar Chavez Park and play on the Musical Steles sculpture.
The South Park neighborhood is served by Route 60 and Route 132. The commercial district centered around Fourteenth Avenue South and South Cloverdale Street includes many Mexican and Hispanic restaurants, markets and businesses. The South Park branch library offers an extensive Spanish language collection and bilingual programs.
Cesar Chavez Park in South Park features xylophone interactive sculpture,
700 S. Cloverdale St., Seattle, 98108
Just off route 60, the small park is nestled against West Marginal Way South.
If movies are your thing, check out the Seattle Latino Film Fest. It’s celebrating 13 years of showcasing Latino artists and filmmakers. The festival runs during the month of October to coincide with Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month. The 2021 festival will include an in-person and online lineup and runs from October 8 through 17. Many in-person showings are at The Beacon Cinema, served by Routes 7 and 9. Learn more at https://www.slff.org.
Seattle Latino Film Fest (https://www.slff.org/), showing at The Beacon Cinema, served by Routes 7 and 9
Thank you to Visit Seattle for their great background on our local history. Learn more at https://visitseattle.org/things-to-do/arts-culture/cultural-heritage/latino/
A showcase of talent
Hispanic and Latin heritage comes to life through music and dance paired with colorful and intricate ensembles. Enjoy these behind-the-scenes photos from our video shoot with Latino Northwest Communications and Utopia Media & Entertainment LLC. Watch the performance on YouTube in English and Spanish.