Upwardly Mobile Latinos and 'Gente-fication'

Around the country, highly educated, upwardly mobile Latinos are choosing urban settings in traditionally Latino neighborhoods over the suburbs. The effects of "gente-fication" ("gente" is Spanish for "people") are distinct from gentrification.
February 13, 2014, 12pm PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Soni Sangha provides personal stories, and some data, behind the trend of "gente-fication" found in neighborhoods like Lincoln Heights in Los Angeles. "A growing number of upwardly mobile Latinos would rather take the good and bad of Lincoln Heights than idyllic suburbs, in a trend that some refer to as 'gente-fication,'" writes Sangha.

Although the movement is conspicuous in Los Angeles, the pattern is also clear in Houston, Phoenix, and New York City.

As with gentrification, gente-fication raises concerns about brain drain, diplacement, affordability, and, yes, hipsters (chipsters in this case), but "the trend echoes a growing desire among Latinos, in particular, to live in walkable communities that can support many generations under one roof." Aangha quotes Rudy Espinoza, who lives in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles to explain the commitment to Latino culture that motivates gente-fication: "We’ve gone to college and we’ve come back with these new tools we’ve acquired. Let’s apply them to our communities and bring them to bear.”

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Published on Friday, February 7, 2014 in Fox News Latino
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