20 Facts About San Diego You Have To See To Believe
San Diego’s history is truly cray. It has traded hands from its original peoples and been conquered by Spain, then reinstated as Mexico, then stolen by the U.S. and really truly given its life breath by the Mexican-Americans who inhabit it today. It’s seriously Disney for Latinos: taco festivals, Goya establishments, and city laws that only our abuelitas could dream up.
Here’s why we think San Diego is a hub for Latinos:
1. Almost 30 percent of San Diego’s population is Latino.
And of that population, 86 percent of them are Mexican, making for a culturally rich, artistic and hard-working community. Plus, it got skyscrapers, ayy!
2. San Diego produces more avocados than any other place in the country.
I’m sold, nos vamos! This is the fruit and weather of my people, so it’s no wonder there are so many happy Mexicanos in San Diego.
3. Oh, and it’s only an hour away from Tijuana, Mexico.
Which is a better explanation for the Latino population. You can drive down to the homeland whenever you want, and get yourself some truly bomb pastelitos and a tan.
4. Like any very Mexican city, it has murals galore.
They’re honestly an afterthought once you’ve spent some time walking around San Diego. Frida Kahlo is with you always on the streets of SD.
5. You must check out Barrio Logan.
And try to find a car made after 1989. The Mexican Revolution and it’s refugees are responsible for making this neighborhood the culturally rich, art-centric neighborhood it is today.
6. Barrio Logan is home to the public artscape, Chicano Park.
Caption: “One of the biggest reasons I became an artist I think is how influential my neighborhood was.I was a product of my environment. I grew up like most people in Barrio Logan in the 90s, we didn’t have much but we didn’t worry about what we didn’t have. The things we did have had a lot more value, we had each other. We were strong as a community and as people. Growing up in a place where the biggest collection of murals was my back yard and the streets were my playground. I would always stop and look up☝and stare in wonder and ask questions about the paintings. These paintings truly tell a story about where I’m from, im also very fortunate to have the pleasure of being part of some of these murals as a child and a teenager, an experience I wont ever forget, everytime I pass by i still stop and look up ?and remember my family my friends and all the wonderful memories I had.”
7. Some of the city laws sound like they were made up by our abuelitas.
Hypnotism is forbidden from being taught in San Diego Public Schools. The superstition is contagious, I guess?
8. It’s illegal to swim in any of San Diego’s lakes.
NO SWIMMING! I mean, the government has good reason: they’re man made lakes. Ask your mother what her reason is? Soy tu madre. K, thanks.
9. Residents will be fined for leaving Christmas lights up after February 2nd.
You know this law isn’t your abuela’s because it would be January 6th, after Three King’s Day has passed.
10. Beware, though, SD has the #1 flea problem in the country.
Stock up on flea meds for your pupper, and then let him roam the streets como es Día de los Muertos cada día.
11. Another place to check out is Old Town’s State Historic Park.
Here’s some SD history: San Diego was the first European settlement in California, and it’s lack of access to water actually made the population flux so low that it lost it’s pueblo status. You can now visit the protected relics of the very first citizens in the 1820s and see people in traditional colonial garb.
12. Go on Cinco de Mayo.
There’s still time, amigos! They host a massive Cinco de Mayo Fiesta complete with a car show, lucha libre matches and dance groups from age 7 and beyond!
13. Or don’t, there will still be Day of the Dead people everywhere.
Caption: “Waiting for him to propose marriage… day of the dead…”
14. Just outside the Old Town Historic State Park proper, you can do some good shopping…
And yes, I mean both ornamental and pimiento peppers. You know why you can’t make your picadillo like your mom taught you? You’ve got to get the adobo from the right market, flaca!
15. Terra Cotta Ware is the definition of good shopping.
I don’t care who you talk to, a good strawberry pot is the key to a happy and successful life. Plus, many of these are hand painted, artisan goods. Did I mention the artist community that you’re out there to support? Treat yo’self, mija.
16. You don’t actually have to go to Tijuana to get authentic Mexican goods.
You just have to be smart enough to tell what’s quality, because don’t think some gringas aren’t trying to rip the culture off. OK, I’m being dramatic, but it’s only because Los Angeles has me wound up. Let’s move to San Diego.
17. P.S. Cameron Diaz is from San Diego!
I don’t know how Cubana Cameron got all the way to San Diego from Cuba, but we’re glad to see her jet off into stardom. She’s been promoting her new book about how to age gracefully and love every wrinkle and I’m already thanking each gray hair on my head.
18. Plus, the annual Tacotopia is the event of the year.
Hundreds of incredible Mexican chefs compete for the “Best Taco in San Diego,” which is effectively the best taco in the whole country. I’m hungry.
19. THERE’S A GOYA TENT.
OK, now I’m actually crying. Pack your bags, fam, we’re going to Tacotopia 2018. Whose going to be there? Comment below!
20. San Diego has the tacos, the art, and the beaches to make it worthy of so many Latino’s homes.
Whether you’re looking to never swim in a lake again, or just find a home away from home, San Diego is the place for you. What other incredible places did we miss in our list? Comment below!
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