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Childhood memories are vivid, almost indescribable in their detail, and impossible to forget. A Christmas memory I have is that of a black velvet dress  a family friend gave to me for my seventh Christmas.
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See Denver: Latinland USA, a Tiki Tiki Guide

Submitted by on October 1, 2011 – 8:22 am14 Comments

Denver skyline by IshmaelO on Flickr

This essay is part of Latinland USA: A Tiki Tiki Guide, a Hispanic Heritage Month series of city guides.

roxana soto spanglish babyBy Roxana A. Soto

Moving to Denver from Miami five years ago meant serious culture shock.

My husband and I often joke that after living 20 years in South Florida, coming to Colorado felt like we’d finally arrived in the United States!

But within a few months, we realized the Mexican community is humongous out here in the Rockies. In fact, the Latino community is much larger and diverse than we originally thought. You just have to know where to experience it.

¡A comer!

Paixa – This brand new restaurant – by the owners of the much cheaper and very popular Mexican eatery Los Carboncitos – has great ambiance and even better food! The shrimp ceviche is delectable.

Buenos Aires Pizzeria – The empanadas and the pizzas are very super good here. Too bad they don’t serve parrilladas.

Empanada Express Grill – There are a lot of Venezuelans in Miami, so I definitely got my share of arepas while I lived there. The arepas sold here, as well as their empanadas, are the real things.

Rancho Liborio – “Si es de allá, lo tenemos aquí” or “If it’s from there, we have it here” is the slogan of this Latino supermarket. Unfortunately, all of their locations are far from my neighborhood, so when I go, I get my fill.

¡A bailar!

La Rumba – With two little ones at home, my husband and I don’t get to go out much, but whenever we can, we go here to dance some sultry salsa!

Denver Doorway by Len Edgerly on Flickr

Santa Fe Art District, Denver.

¡A aprender!

Museo de las Americas – A museum for all things Latino both old and new. One of my favorite parts? The activities they have on a regular basis. The one for Día de los Muertos is a children’s favorite.

CHAC, Chicano Humanities and Arts Council: A favorite stop during First Friday gallery hop in Denver’s Santa Fe Art District. The art exhibits here never disappoint and they also have their share of activities and workshops throughout the year.

Su Teatro: While I’ve only attended a handful of performances or events here, this is one of my favorite places for their variety of offerings. From music to documentary film screenings, there’s a little bit for every one at this Latino theater in Denver.

Roxana Soto is a journalist, mother of two and co-founder of Spanglish Baby, a website for raising bilingual and bi-cultural children. She is a Peruvian native who lives in Denver, Colorado.

Latinland USA: A Tiki Tiki Guide

Click the image to see the series overview and links.

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