Latino Cultural District Planned for Long Beach

The proposed El Mercado de Long Beach cultural district would be a place to celebrate Latino culture in addition to providing historically neglected support services.

March 2, 2021, 11:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Los Angeles, California

Olvera Street, the historic center of Los Angeles, could provide a model for a new Latino Cultural District in nearby Long Beach. | Tupungato / Shutterstock

The city of Long Beach is considering a Latino cultural district called El Mercado de Long Beach, as proposed by Latino advocacy organization Centro CHA.

Hayley Munguia reports on the story before the Long Beach City Council decides whether to further study feasibility and financing options for El Mercado de Long Beach.

"The idea, Centro CHA Executive Director Jessica Quintana said in a Friday, Feb. 26, phone interview, would be to build out the area around Cesar E. Chavez Park, just west of downtown, into a district that would include restaurants, grocery stores, retail shops, housing, entertainment, art and social services run by and for the Latino community," explains Munguia.

"In addition to the restaurants and shops typical of any cultural district, Quintana said, it will be just as important for a Long Beach Latino cultural district to include health care centers and workshops that could address issues that have hit the community especially hard over the last year, such as food insecurity," adds Munguia.

Centro CHA believe that the cultural district would benefit not just the growing number of Latinos living in Long Beach, but the city as a whole.

Friday, February 26, 2021 in Long Beach Press-Telegram

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