Everything you need to know about thriving Latin America at Philadelphia 2022

With two weeks remaining in Hispanic American Heritage Month, there is still plenty of time to celebrate Philadelphia’s Hispanic and Latino communities. Enter Latin America Thrives, a fair and cultural market that returns today to Center City for its second edition. From noon to 5 p.m., Love Park will fly Latino flags of all colors and host vendors offering international cuisine, while traditional dancing will take over the square and Latinos from different backgrounds will come together to celebrate their roots.

The initiative was created in 2021 by community group Alianza Latina in partnership with the office of council member David Oh. Although the city’s Latino population has grown 27% over the past decade, this was the first event of its kind in Philadelphia. What began as a way to support Latin American businesses, hard hit by the pandemic, led to October 1 being recognized by city council as Latin American Entrepreneurs Day.

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with the city’s Latin community and support local small businesses – here’s what to expect at the 2022 Latin America Thrives in Philadelphia:

The fair will be held on September 30, 2022 at Love Park. You can check out the vendors or enjoy the artistic performances between 12 p.m. and 5 p.m.

It is a free event. People are welcome to walk around and attend the musical performances free of charge. But, how much you spend will depend on what you buy or consume.

This season, three local, family-owned Latin restaurants represent Colombian, Mexican and Peruvian cuisine:

  • Vista Peru: This Old Town restaurant is well known for its traditional Peruvian dishes like ceviche, Leche de Tigre (creamy lime juice, fish with diced red onions and cilantro) and fried yuca.

  • Taqueria Morales: A staple of authentic Mexican cuisine in South Philly, this taqueria offers pork, al pastor, steak, chorizo, chicken, and vegetarian tacos. All go well with radishes, cucumbers and limes, or cactus with fried onions.

  • Café Tinto: If you’re looking for coffee or Colombian pastries at the festival, this North Philadelphia bakery is for you. Arepas (sweet corn pancake) and Almojabanas (cheese bread) are crowd favorites.

You can expect to pay between $5 and $15 per plate. And there will also be vendors in the fair market selling traditional sweet and savory snacks according to different countries.

Peruvian band Songo will kick off performances at 12:30 p.m., playing Andean instruments called kena, zampona and charango. From there, every thirty minutes, a new performance will take the stage.

If you want to learn more about traditional Mexican clothing, head to the stage at 1 p.m. The Centro Cultural Mexicano, the Consulate, and the Philadelphia Mexicanos will showcase a variety of cultural attire, along with their significance. This show is followed by Cuban-Venezuelan violinist and singer Manuela Romero González performing her first original single “De la luna aquí”.

After 2 p.m., local artists Diego Calderon “The Heartbreaker of Vallenato and Cumbia”, rapper UDINI La Voz and Grupo Opción, a merengue and bachate group, will set the tone for those wishing to dance.

This year’s festival doubled the number of vendors to 60. Designers, artisans, Latin organizations and small businesses representing Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, Uruguay and Venezuela will all be on hand to show off their wares.

Among the vendors are Colombian designer Salomé Sosmiqué, Mexican fashion designer Julieta Zavala, Salvadoran jewelry designer Leticia Bisutería, Panamanian photographer Alba Juliao and Dominican artist Isaías Amaro.

Organizations like Taller Puertoriqueño will also be there, as well as Puerto Rican film crew La Guagua 47. Venezuela’s Philadelphia International Unity Cup soccer team will also distribute FIFA2026 albums.

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