In May of 2018, after years of advocacy by HSTF youth, staff, residents, business owners, and other community members, our neighborhood became an official Cultural District, Boston’s Latin Quarter. The designation aims to preserve and uplift the decades of rich history and contributions of Latinx immigrants who have made our neighborhood what it is today.
This short documentary piece Directed by Monica Cohen and Produced by The BOOM House touches on the importance of the preservation of cultural enclaves within a city. The Latin Quarter, a Latinx neighborhood in the middle of Jamaica Plain in Boston, sets an example of community, resilience and growth. This film explores the history, the struggles and the impact such a neighborhood can have on a community, a city and most importantly, the next generation of Latinx in Boston.
Between 2010 and 2017, the number of Latinx residents living in the Latin Quarter increased from 3,269 to 3,540. The number of White and Asian residents also increased during that time.
- 50% of businesses conduct less than $500,000 in annual sales
- Most businesses employ less than 10 employees
- 95% increase in rent per square foot between 2010 and 2018
A safe, clean, and economically, racially, linguistically, and culturally diverse neighborhood;
A dynamic, diverse business district where businesses are locally owned and managed and offer Latin foods, goods, services and specialty shops;
A hub for developing and celebrating Latin and Afro-Latin art that creates cross-cultural artistic opportunities and supports emerging artists;
A place to learn about the history and contributions of Latinxs in Boston and Jamaica Plain;
A place for public art, open spaces, and lively cultural events that project Afro-Latin culture and enhance local businesses; and
A stimulating destination place for local residents, families and tourists where all feel welcome, energized, and engaged.
BOSTON'S LATIN QUARTER: HOW WE GOT HERE
After the original push for this neighborhood to be recognized as Boston’s Latin Quarter lost momentum, Hyde Square Task Force youth were energized by the idea in response to the anti-Latinx and anti-immigrant rhetoric that they were seeing and hearing in national politics. They worked with the Boston City Council, Massachusetts Cultural Council, and other stakeholders to gain support and in 2018 Boston’s Latin Quarter became an official cultural district.
LOOKING AHEAD: OUR FOCUS
Formalize pathways for community leadership and identify revenue opportunities to support district growth.
Marketing and Branding
Support district marketing and branding, improvements, and beautification.
Public Art and Programming
Elevate and expand public art and arts & culture programming.
Establish partnerships for achieving development priorities, advocate for affordable and accessible housing and commercial development in the Latin Quarter, and advocate for affordable creative spaces in the Latin Quarter.
Expand awareness of Boston’s Latin Quarter as a hub of Latinx history and leverage historic preservation tools and resources.
Promote and expand Spanish language resources.