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Hispanic Heritage Month in SF 2021

September 15, 2021

First established in 1968 by President Lyndon B. Johnson, Hispanic Heritage Month occurs yearly from September 15th through October 15th! So why do the festivities start mid-month? Guatemala, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, and El Salvador each celebrate their annual independence days on September 15th, while Mexico celebrates on the 16th and Chile on the 18th. San Francisco is filled with ways to honor the occasion, with most opportunities located in the Latino Cultural District. Let’s take a look at some of the best options to experience Hispanic Heritage Month in SF this year!

Immerse Yourself in Hispanic Culture at SFPL

There is no better way to immerse yourself in Latin culture than by attending the multitude of events put on by the San Francisco Public Library. The Main Library, located directly across Market Street from the 1177 Market apartments at Trinity Place, was established in 1878, with 27 total branches now serving the entirety of San Francisco. This year, SFPL events include Post Pandémico Poesía, Reggaeton Dance Class, Reading from Flor y Canto, Hot Chocolate throughout Latin Americaand much more!

Experience Street Art in Balmy Alley


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One of many beautiful street art displays in San Francisco’s historic Mission District, the one-block alley between 24th and 25th has been the home of colorful murals since 1972. At the time, two women known as the Mujeres Muralistas began painting murals depicting a theme of celebration towards the culture of indigenous Central Americans. As their stunning murals gained attention, more activists and artists came to the area to create meaningful works of art. This cycle continues today, and the art that you see one day in Balmy Alley may differ from the next, with the artwork constantly changing!

Enjoy a Delicious Mission Burrito


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A weekend in The Mission isn’t complete without stopping at one of the many taquerias serving the world-famous Mission burrito. First created in The City by the Bay in the 1960s, the massive burrito is now enjoyed worldwide at restaurants that attempt to replicate the delicious creation. While this style of burrito is the inspiration for national chains like Chipotle, you can experience a true Mission burrito at well-known local spots like La Taqueria, El Faro, Taqueria Cancun, La Corneta, Taqueria El Castillito, Pancho Villa Taqueria, Taqueria Los Coyotes, and many more. But, of course, San Franciscans will constantly debate which is best, so we’ll let you decide for yourself!

Visit the Historic Mission Dolores Basilica


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San Francisco’s iconic Mission District is named after Mission San Francisco de Asís, commonly known as “Mission Dolores,” after a creek that once ran by the area called “Arroyo de los Dolores.” Located just across 16th Street from the 230 Dolores and 240 Dolores apartments, the building was completed in 1791 and remains the oldest structure in San Francisco. The Mission is open for tours, making for a nice afternoon when paired with a Dolores Park visit just two blocks away within one of SF’s warmest microclimates.

See The Mission’s Art Galleries


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There is no shortage of wonderful art exhibits to get excited about during Hispanic Heritage Month. One such gallery is Acción Latina’s Juan R. Fuentes Art Gallery at 2958 24th Street. This esteemed gallery “seeks to showcase the work of established and emerging Latino artists as well as that of non-Latino artists whose work reflects the nuances of Latino life locally, nationally, and internationally.” This museum, filled with vibrant Latino culture, is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 AM – 5 PM. Another Mission District gallery, Galería de La Raza, is a non-profit museum filled with exhibitions featuring work addressing identity and social justice issues within the community. Found at 857 24th Street, you can experience poetry readings, workshops, celebrations, youth art programs, and more available to all!

Attend the SF Latino Film Festival


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Cine+Mas SF is set to launch the 13th edition of the San Francisco Latino Film Festival this October! The event will be hybrid online with in-person events scheduled for the Roxie Theater on 16th Street near 240 Dolores. Showings include a variety of narrative features and documentaries directed by individuals representing various Latin countries and regions. Many other great films, online viewings, workshops, and screenings can be found year-round through the Cine+Mas SF program.

Learn the History of The Presidio

San Francisco’s largest green space in the northwest corner of The City has provided tremendous Golden Gate Bridge views for nearly 100 years following centuries of military control. While its significance during WWII for the United States Army is well-documented, The Presidio was actually established as a Spanish Military outpost in 1776. The location was instrumental for Spanish exploration and today remains as a 1,491-acre National Historic Landmark District with over 700 buildings. Packed with history, you can explore this beautiful open-air museum through its extensive network of biking and walking trails.

Spend a Day in The Latino Cultural District


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No matter where you go in San Francisco to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, you are bound to have a great time. With that said, the center of the party will take place at Calle 24 between Mission Street and Portrero Avenue in the Latino Cultural District. El Corazón de la Misión “boasts a vast number of colorful and unique specialty stores, restaurants, taquerias, Mexican bakeries, fresh produce grocers, butchers, cafes, and art galleries, as well as the greatest concentration of murals and Latino Businesses in the city.” Celebrations will occur within the community throughout Hispanic Heritage Month, but popular events such as Carnaval, Dia De Los Muertos, The Cesar Chavez Parade and Festival, and Fiesta de las Américas also take place in the neighborhood throughout the year.

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