Dallas: A Beloved Haven Of Latino Culture
I love the amazing city of Dallas. I enjoy visiting picturesque horse ranches and watching cattle herded during traditional rodeos. The city’s shopping is legendary – I couldn’t help picking up a wide-brimmed ten-gallon hat during my last visit. The birthplace of the frozen margarita (who knew!), this cosmopolitan city is lovingly referred to as “Big D.” It offers plenty of that famous Texas charm – big, bright smiles and even bigger personalities. And it offers plenty for Latinos to enjoy.
The diverse southwestern Latino community is well represented in this world-class city. In fact, nearly half of the city’s residents are Latino, many of whom hail from Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean. The city’s deeply ingrained Latino heritage is reflected in its history, music, art and culture. It’s no wonder this thriving city is a perfect travel destination for Latinos across the country. I can’t get enough of Dallas!
Among the stars who stop in Dallas to explore Hispanic culture is Benise, the “nouveau Spanish flamenco” guitar sensation. Benise, who magically fuses classic rock songs with flamenco music and dance, performed in front of a lively crowd at House of Blues Dallas, during a multi-city summer “unplugged” tour, complete with a world-class band and flamenco dancers. Famous for his expert blending of high-energy Latino music – in particular, Spanish flamenco, Argentine tango, and Brazilian samba – Benise has recorded 13 albums.
I never miss the Dallas Latino Cultural Center (LCC), and you shouldn’t either! Located at 2600 Live Oak, this gigantic 27,000-square-foot hub showcases phenomenal Latino art and culture all year long. Kids, adults and families can enjoy more than 300 events, from music, literature and film, to dance, theater, visual and performing arts. It’s a glorious celebration of local Latino talent. From now through the end of August, visitors can view the free exhibit, “Tex-Mex Kitchens of Dallas.”
This historical timeline examines the evolution of Tex-Mex cuisine and its influence on southwestern culture from 1950-1970. Featuring the remarkable contributions of three prominent Hispanic restaurateur families, it shows how this type of Latino cooking started in Dallas and then crossed over to mainstream America’s palate. For more information, visit the Dallas Latino Cultural Center.
The Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) is regarded as one of the country’s leading art museums and remains one of my favorite places for learning about Latino culture. In the heart of the downtown arts district, at 1717 North Harwood, DMA is a free museum boasting an impressive collection of 22,000 significant works of art from across the globe. The distinguished Ancient American collection, with hundreds of objects from 1000 B.C. to A.D. 1550, represents Mexico, Guatemala, Panama, Colombia, Peru and other countries.
The collection highlights precious objects including gold, textile prints, terracotta ceramics and stone sculptures from the “pre-Columbian” Colima, Maya, Mixtec, Olmec, Calima, Moche, Nasca, Paracas, Cupisnique, Chimú and Sicán cultures. Please don’t miss the “Head of the Rain God Tlaloc” (an Aztec name for the Mixtec deity). This unique ceramic sculpture (circa 14th-16th century), which weighs almost 1,000 pounds, was created as a vessel to burn incense as an offering to the god of rain and lightning. It’s one of the most stunning pieces in the Ancient American collection.
For a complete travel experience to Dallas, hop aboard Amtrak’s Texas Eagle from 41 cities between Chicago and Los Angeles.
About the Author: Daisy Cabrera is a bilingual, bicultural public relations expert.