Hispanic Heritage Month: Ways to Celebrate in San Diego

Let’s celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month! The commemoration starts on September 15 and runs through October 15. Instead of a dedicated calendar month, Hispanic Heritage Month starts on the day of independence for multiple nations, including Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Honduras, and Nicaragua.

Before San Diego was a part of the United States, it was the land of indigenous, Spanish and Mexican people. To this day, our culture is definitively interwoven with Mexico, as our San Ysidro border crossing is the busiest land port in the United States (and fourth-busiest in the world!). You’ll find so much Hispanic culture embedded into San Diego’s history, food, traditions and more. Here are just a few ideas on how you can celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.

Events

SEPTEMBER 15 - OCTOBER 15
🪅 Take and Make Crafts
Otay-Mesa Nestor Library
3003 Coronado Ave. San Diego, CA 92154

Stop by the Otay Mesa-Nestor Branch Library between September 15- October 15 to pick up a Hispanic Heritage month craft to make at home. Crafts include a bird inspired Maraca, a burro Sun Catcher, and more! While supplies last. Please contact the library for additional details. Get to the library via Route 901/932 to Coronado Ave & Beyer Blvd

City of San Diego Libraries have various Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations through mid-October, and activities vary by date, time and location. View their additional Hispanic Heritage Month events.

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 15
🪅 Grito de Independencia
Location: Chicano Park
Time: 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
https://www.facebook.com/events/395941916014394/

Barrio Logan celebrates with the Grito de Independencia event in Chicano Park. It will also be livestreamed on Facebook if you can’t make it in person. There will be live entertainment, speakers, and much more! Take the UC San Diego Blue Line to the Barrio Logan Station and walk to Chicano Park, or take the Green or Blue Line to 12th & Imperial and transfer to Route 12.

🪅“El Grito” de México
Location: General Consulate of Mexico, 1549 India St
Time: 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
https://www.facebook.com/events/1237807783681480/

The Mexican Consulate in San Diego invites you to celebrate Mexican Independence Day. There will be live performances by Grupo Seis en Línea, Martel the best imitator of Vicente Fernandez, Mariachi Nueva Tradición & Ballet Real de San Diego. There will also be food vendors, family games and much more. Take the UC San Diego Blue Line or Green Line to County Center/Little Italy.

Ballet Folklórico
Photo by sydney Rae on Unsplash

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 16
🪅 The House of Mexico presents: Mexican Independence Day Grito and Concert
Location: Spreckels Organ Pavilion
Time: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
https://www.facebook.com/events/634106651387417/

Bring a picnic and enjoy an evening of music with Grupo Ellas, Mariachi Estrellas de Chula Vista, and Ballet Folklórico La Fiesta Danzantes de San Diego. Balboa Park is served by Routes 7 and Rapid 215.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 17
🪅 El Grito Celebration
Location: Memorial Park - 351 Park Way, Chula Vista, CA
Time: 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
https://www.facebook.com/events/607503254155531/

The El Grito Celebration will feature an exciting musical performance from Banda de Guerra, a Mexican marching band, accompanied by traditional Mexican dancers on the Memorial Bowl Stage. Enjoy traditional Mexican music as you dance under the vibrant lights and extravagant decorations adorning Memorial Park. Get to Memorial Park via Routes 701, 705 or 929.

Food & Dining

🌮 El Carrito
2154 Logan Ave., San Diego, CA 92113
https://www.elcarritorestaurant.com/

There are oodles of wonderful restaurants in San Diego to visit for excellent Mexican food, but at MTS we’re a little partial to El Carrito, which is housed in a former streetcar. Grab some food and then take a stroll through Chicano Park to visit the murals. Hop on the UC San Diego Blue Line to Barrio Logan or take Route 12, 901 or 929 from 12th & Imperial Transit Center.

Tacos and Cachapas from Mi Pana in San Diego, CA

🌮 Mi Pana Latín American Cuisine
2241 Highland Ave, National City, CA 91950
Mi Pana Latin American Cuisine offers a combination of Venezeluan, Colombian and Mexican foods. Our personal favorite is the cheese cachapas, a sweet corn pancake filled with cheese. Take Route 929 to Highland Ave & 21st St to sample their tasty menu.

🌮 Romesco Mexiterranean Bistro
4346 Bonita Rd, Bonita, CA 91902
https://romescomexmed.com/

Did you know the original Caesar salad was invented in Tijuana? Get a taste of that original Tijuana Caesar salad stateside at Romesco, which does a tableside service. Route 705 goes right by Romesco in Bonita.

🌮 Barrio Donas
4714 Clairemont Mesa Blvd
https://www.barriodonas.com/

Recently voted as Yelp’s top place to get horchata, they also serve donuts, tamales, tortas, and other delicious drinks. Take Route 43 to Clairemont Mesa Blvd & Diane Ave to get your own cup of horchata and a horchata donut!

🌮 Frutilandia
4328 University Avenue, San Diego, CA 92105
https://frutilandia-juice-shop.business.site/

Need a refreshing drink or a fruit salad? Give Frutilandia a try! They have a number of refreshing agua frescas (fruit waters), freshly made fruit salads, chamango, escamocha and more. Get here via Route 7, 13 or 235.

Shopping // Other Entertainment

💃 Artelexia in North Park
3803 Ray St, San Diego, CA 92104
https://artelexia.com/

Artelexia is a vibrant retail shop and event space in North Park specializing in Mexican gifts, art, home décor, and gourmet foods, as well as hosting cultural workshops & community events.

💃 Back from Tomboctou in Normal Heights
3564 Adams Ave, San Diego, CA 92116
https://www.backfromtomboctou.com/

Back from Tomboctou is located on San Diego’s historic Adams Avenue, right in the heart of Normal Heights. They sell genuine folk art from artisans all over the world, including Day of the Dead novelties and more.

💃 Centro Cultural de la Raza in Balboa Park
2004 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101
https://www.facebook.com/centrocultural/

San Diego's Centro Cultural de la Raza in Balboa Park was founded in 1970 as a Chicano Community Cultural Center and functions as an alternative space that encourages and facilitates artistic growth and cultural interchange in the San Diego/Tijuana region. The Centro's mission is to create, promote, and preserve Mexican, Chicano, Indigenous and Latino art and culture. View their Facebook page for information about upcoming events.

Chicano Park in Barrio Logan - San Diego
Photo by Diego Lozano on Unsplash

💃 Chicano Park in Barrio Logan
Chicano Park is located under the Coronado Bridge in the heart of Barrio Logan, the oldest Mexican-American neighborhood in San Diego. The park serves as the home of the largest outdoor collection of outdoor murals, all dedicated to the cultural heritage of the Barrio Logan community. Get a map of the murals and take a tour

How to get there:
Take the UC San Diego Blue Line to Barrio Logan station and walk to Chicano Park or take the Green or Blue Line to 12th & Imperial and transfer to Route 12.