Little Havana

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Little Havana
La Pequeña Habana
—  Neighborhood of Miami  —
Little Havana's famous Domino Park on Calle Ocho
Little Havana neighborhood within the City of Miami
Coordinates: 25°46′21.28″N -80°12′52.52″E / 25.7725778°N 79.7854111°W / 25.7725778; -79.7854111
CountryUnited States
StateFlorida
CountyMiami-Dade County
CityMiami
Government
 • City of Miami CommissionerFrank Carollo
 • Miami-Dade CommissionersCarlos A. Giménez and Bruno Barreiro
 • House of RepresentativesCarlos Lopez-Cantera (R) and Luis García, Jr. (R)
 • State SenateMiguel Díaz de la Portilla (R)
 • U.S. HouseIleana Ros-Lehtinen (R)
Population (2010)
 • Total76,163
 • Density21,815/sq mi (8,423/km2)
Time zoneEST (UTC-05)
ZIP Code33125, 33126, 33128, 33130, 33135
Area code(s)305, 786
 
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Little Havana
La Pequeña Habana
—  Neighborhood of Miami  —
Little Havana's famous Domino Park on Calle Ocho
Little Havana neighborhood within the City of Miami
Coordinates: 25°46′21.28″N -80°12′52.52″E / 25.7725778°N 79.7854111°W / 25.7725778; -79.7854111
CountryUnited States
StateFlorida
CountyMiami-Dade County
CityMiami
Government
 • City of Miami CommissionerFrank Carollo
 • Miami-Dade CommissionersCarlos A. Giménez and Bruno Barreiro
 • House of RepresentativesCarlos Lopez-Cantera (R) and Luis García, Jr. (R)
 • State SenateMiguel Díaz de la Portilla (R)
 • U.S. HouseIleana Ros-Lehtinen (R)
Population (2010)
 • Total76,163
 • Density21,815/sq mi (8,423/km2)
Time zoneEST (UTC-05)
ZIP Code33125, 33126, 33128, 33130, 33135
Area code(s)305, 786
Beginning of Calle Ocho (US 41/SW 8th St) in Miami just east of SW 27th Avenue, where 8th Street becomes one-way eastbound.

Little Havana (Spanish: La Pequeña Habana) is a neighborhood of Miami, Florida, United States. Home to many Cuban immigrant residents, as well as many residents from Central and South America, Little Havana is named after Havana, the capital and largest city in Cuba.

Little Havana is noted as a center of social, cultural, and political activity in Miami. Its festivals, including the Calle Ocho Festival, Viernes Culturales/Cultural Fridays, the Three Kings Parade and others, have been televised to millions of people every year on different continents. It is also known for its landmarks, including Calle Ocho (SW 8th Street/Tamiami Trail), and its Walk of Fame (for famous artists and Latin personalities, including Celia Cruz, Willy Chirino, and Gloria Estefan), the Cuban Memorial Boulevard, Plaza de la Cubanidad, Domino Park, the Tower Theater, Jose Marti Park, the Firestone/Walgreens Building, St. John Bosco Catholic Church, Municipio de Santiago de Cuba and others. It is undoubtedly the best known neighborhood for Cuban exiles in the world. Little Havana is characterized by a robust street life, excellent restaurants, music and other cultural activities, mom and pop enterprises, political passion, and great warmth amongst its residents.[1]

The Little Havana Merchants Association (LHMA) [1] is an organization of local businesses that promotes responsible growth in the neighborhood. Other key organizations in the neighborhood include the Calle Ocho Chamber of Commerce, Little Havana Changemakers, and Viernes Culturales/Cultural Fridays, Inc.

The co-founder of LHMA publishes Little Havana Guide, a guide (with maps) to the neighborhood and online magazine (in English). Local activists have also published a site called LittleHavanaInc to monitor development in the area.

Contents

History

The name "Little Havana" emerged in the 1960s as the concentration of Cubans in the area grew sharply. Little Havana is the name affixed to a sprawling neighborhood lying immediately west of Downtown Miami. It stretches west from the Miami River for several miles. This sobriquet was applied to the Shenandoah and Riverside neighborhoods in the 1960s, following the beginnings of a vast influx of Cuban refugees there. Little Havana is famous as the cultural and political capital of Cuban Americans, and the neighborhood is a center of the Cuban exile community.[2]

As of 2011, Little Havana has the highest concentration of Hispanics (98%) in Miami. Within the Hispanic population, the Cuban population has experienced a substantial decrease from 84% in 1979 to 58% in 1989; however, a group of Hispanics from other countries, especially those from Nicaragua, Honduras, and other Central Americans countries has substantially increased since the late-1990s.[3]

Borders

Locals are in disagreement about the exact boundaries, but most consider the neighborhood to be:

[4][5]

Demographics

As of 2000,[6][7] Little Havana had a population of 49,206 residents, with 19,341 households, and 11,266 families residing in the neighborhood. The median household income was $15,213.16. The ethnic makeup of the neighborhood was 85.08% Hispanic or Latino of any race (mainly Cubans, but also many Nicaraguans and Hondurans, as well as other Latinos), 3.79% Black or African American (not including Afro-Cubans, Afro-Nicaraguans, Afro-Hondurans, and other Afro-Latinos), 10.14% Non-Hispanic White, and 0.96% Other races.

South River Drive Historic District

South River Drive Historic District
Location:Little Havana, Miami, Florida
Area:25 acres (100,000 m2)
NRHP Reference#:87000671
Added to NRHP:August 10, 1987

The South River Drive Historic District is a U.S. historic district (designated as such on August 10, 1987) located in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood on the eastern end of the neighborhood along the Miami River just west of Downtown Miami. The district includes 428, 438 Southwest 1st Street, 437 Southwest 2nd Street, 104, 109, 118 Southwest South River Drive. It contains 9 historic buildings.[8]

Viernes Culturales

Viernes Culturales (English: Cultural Fridays) is an artistic, cultural, and social arts and culture fair that takes place on the last Friday of each month in the historic Little Havana neighborhood of Miami in the heart of Calle Ocho (8th St. SW between 14th and 17th Avenues). A powerful venue for talented visual artists and entertainers, the monthly festival offers an opportunity for visitors and tourists to experience an evening of culture with the diverse flavors of our Latino community.

The event consists of outdoor musical performances on a stage and along the sidewalks of Calle Ocho, art exhibits along the sidewalk and in plazas and open spaces, visits to art galleries and cultural centers, cuisine tasting at participating restaurants, and films, art exhibits, and educational programs at the historic Tower Theatre. Free walking tours, led by famed Miami historian Dr. Paul George leave from the Tower Theater at 7pm each festival.[9]

Parks

Education

Miami Senior High School, founded in 1903, is Miami's first high school

Miami-Dade County Public Schools runs area public schools. Schools within Little Havana include:

Public schools

Elementary schools

Middle schools

High schools

Colleges

Libraries

Miami-Dade Public Library operates all area public libraries:

Cultural institutions

Museums and memorials

Theaters and performance arts

Calle Ocho Festival

Calle Ocho festival in 2001

Little Havana hosts its annual Calle Ocho street festival (part of the overall Carnaval Miami celebration), one of the largest in the world, with over one million visitors attending Calle Ocho alone. It is a free street festival with a Caribbean carnival feel sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Little Havana.

Calle Ocho is where different ethnic communities wear colors or flags representing pride in their heritage. Flags from Colombia to Nicaragua to Puerto Rico to Costa Rica and even Ireland flood the streets. Foods from different countries are usually sold, and popular music like reggaeton, salsa, bachata and merengue can be heard through the festival.

In 1977 tensions among Miami’s different ethnic groups were running high. Eight Cuban-Americans, mostly from the Kiwanis of Little Havana, were trying to come up with ideas to address the situation. They considered a bicycle race on SW Eighth Street (Calle Ocho). It was turned down because the organizers feared that it would pit one ethnic group against another. Willy Bermello came up with the idea of doing something similar to the block parties and street festivals of Philadelphia. Calle Ocho was born .

The festival takes place between 27th Ave and 4th Ave along Southwest 8th Street. Over 30 stages and hundreds of street vendors participate in the live music street festival now in its 3rd decade. Calle Ocho earned an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records when 119,986 people formed the world's longest conga line on March 13, 1988.

In 2010, the Florida legislature identified the Calle Ocho-Open House 8 festival as the official state festival.[10]

Places of interest

Padilla Cigar Factory, one of the cigar factories on Calle Ocho

Gallery

See also

References

External links

Coordinates: 25°46′21.28″N 80°12′52.52″W / 25.7725778°N 80.2145889°W / 25.7725778; -80.2145889