Culture

13 Places That Are Bringing Colombian Culture To Miami

Colombians are settling and thriving in Miami in record numbers and the city is transforming itself with new nightlife and foodie offerings thanks to the recipes, sounds and culture of this South American country. Don’t be surprised if you start hearing cumbia and vallenato the next time you’re at a club dancing to reggaeton or salsa on Biscayne Boulevard. Here are just a few places in Miami that are offering up Colombian cultura in the Cuban enclave.

1. Amazonica

Amazonica sits nestled under a sprawling 80-year-old oak tree in the historic Buena Vista neighborhood of Miami.

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This food destination is offering up delicious Colombian bites including obleas, a wafer-like disc filled with jam or dulce de leche, and choladasm, a cup filled with fresh fruit, ice and condensed milk.

2. La Poderosa Bar 

The music and #goodvibes of Baranquilla come at you with a punch as soon as you step into this bar in Miami’s artsy Wynwood neighborhood.

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As soon as you walk past the bouncer, the bar resembles the bodegas you would walk into while visiting your abuela and primos during family vacations. The prices of fruits are plastered from wall to wall and a painted Fabuloso bottle says bye to you on a mural as you make your way to the exit.

3. El Patio

So what exactly is the Vintrash bar experience? Take out some cash at the nearest ATM and trade it in for some funny money at Wynwood’s El Patio to find out.

Garden patio chairs and floral couches surround patrons as they dance to electronic beats mixed with salsa at a mini amphitheater with wooden raised steps. Hungry after showing off those moves? Grab a bite to eat at the bar with a perro caliente—a Colombian hot dog topped with pink sauce and crispy potato chips.

4. Shots Miami

If you’re in Miami to party rock like LMFAO circa 2009, then you’ve come to the right place.

The co-owners of this bar were inspired by their travels in Medellín and decided to bring the hora loca and crazy props stateside for an interactive shots lineup.

5. El Cielo by Juan Manuel Barrientos

How do you mix neuroscience and molecular gastronomy together?

Inspired by his ancestral Colombian roots, chef Juan Manuel Barrientos has been able to do just that at his modern fusion restaurant in Miami’s posh Brickell neighborhood, where he wants to see which emotions come out of his patrons after trying his dishes. 

6. La Moon Restaurant

La Moon is where Miamians come to get some carbs in their system in order to avoid a hangover the next day.

Arepa burgers, perros calientes topped with a quail egg and mazorca are all on the menu to help keep your headache at bay.

7. Bolivar Restaurant and Lounge

If you’re looking for some empanadas and bandeja paisa after a day frolicking on the beach, Miami Beach’s Bolivar Restaurant has you covered.

Complimentary corn cakes with salsa on top are served up while you decide on either a mojarra Cartagena, patacones with shrimp or shredded beef.

8. Pueblito Viejo

Originally started in the Windy City, Pueblito Viejo wanted to give Colombians in the 305 a love letter in the form of mementos.

Hanging from the ceiling you’ll find items such as wayuu bags, flutes, dolls and fruit garlands that help transport you to the Colombian countryside. Not only is this nostalgic, it is beautiful decor.

9. Manantial Market Place

This market wants to make sure you have any Colombian staple you may need while living in south Florida.

Bandeja Paisa. #Colombian food! #Miami

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Flags in the colors of the Colombian flag guide you down the aisles as you pick up fresh pan de bono, Colombian soda or corn meal to make arepas.

10. Seta Apparel

You can’t truly know a city without paying attention to the threads its people are sporting.

Two sisters brought their love of fashion from Colombia and started adding sequins, chains and embroidery to their clothing designs. Now their clientele has spread from Miami and beyond rocking their rocker chic/boho vibes. 

11. Veza Sur

Mixing the flora of Miami with South American lagers is what gives Veza Sur its taste—literally.

The craft beers are #HechaenMiami as the tagline goes, meaning you can grab a pint with tastes of guava and citrus inspired by a Miami summer. This brewery in Wynwood formed as a partnership between Bogota Beer Company and 10 Barrel Brewing Co. in Oregon.

12. Juan Valdez Café

What’s Colombia without coffee? This chain of coffee spots was founded in Bogota and has brought Colombian java to its multiple outposts in Miami.

Sip on an ice mocha while munching on an almojábana (Colombian cheese bread). Doesn’t that sound like a pleasant treat?

13. Monserrate Restaurant

Tucked in an unassuming strip mall in Doral, Monserrate will ease you into Colombian comfort food.

If you’ve never had sancocho soup or tried a Colombian empanada with lime on top, then this is the place for you. Come hungry, leave happy (and order a Postobon Manzana soda can while you’re at it).


READ: Anyone Who Has Ever Been To Colombia Is Guilty Of Bringing These Regalitos Back

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Nicole Chapaval Advocates For More Latinas In Tech Through Teaching App Platzi

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Nicole Chapaval Advocates For More Latinas In Tech Through Teaching App Platzi

The gender disparity in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) jobs remains wide in Colombia. As of 2019, Colombian women hold 32.9 percent of all STEM jobs in the country.

Nicole Chapaval, the VP of education at Platzi, wants to get more women into STEM. As someone who found herself in tech, Chapaval understands what it takes for women to break into the industry.

Chapaval’s own passion for computer science started in her youth. Despite wanting her parents’ reservations about her career choice, she went to school to study software engineering.

“I learned how to code with Platzi. I was a student back in 2012 before I worked here,” she told mitú.

Platzi is a professional learning app targeting people ages 22 and older.

Photo courtesy of Apple

Instructors for the app are teaching livestream courses on programming, marketing, design, and business. The classes are available in English and Spanish.

Chapaval took an interest in content optimization practicing her coding on a personal blog while taking online courses. Starting out as a student advocate, the two founders of Platzi noticed her dedication and started to involve her more in the team.

As Platzi expanded, so did Chapaval’s job description.

Chapaval has been successful in her career. Yet, despite the success, she has seen the gender disparity firsthand. It has only further inspired Chavapal to work to get more women in their tech careers.

“One of my first jobs was in a company that was doing mobile applications and in this company there were 15 male developers and myself,” she says.

Wanting to engage with her male colleagues, Chapaval admitted to feeling weird when her enthusiasm was not reciprocated.

“I was always very extroverted and wanted to meet everyone [but] they didn’t want to talk with me,” she says.

Chapaval teaches 60 percent of computer sciences courses hoping to attract more women to the field.

Photo courtesy of Apple

“I think that representation is very important. So I try to be very vocal and very present with everything that we do in social media and in content creation,” she says.

Whether it be attending company livestreams or podcasts, it is imperative for Chapaval to have women witness others in the field to show the possibilities they can achieve.

Prideful, she also amplifies the achievements of other Latinas in STEM, like that of Diana Trujillo. Yet, she still expresses a need for more women to get managerial roles.

“I am very proud of Trujillo,” she says. “She’s from my hometown and she was in the NASA project that launched the Perseverance Rover. These kinds of things are great!”

Thirty-six percent of Platzi‘s more than 1 million students are women and it is growing.

Photo courtesy of Apple

“That’s very low,” she says, “but we doubled that percentage from 2018 so we still have a long way to go.”

A key step needed to attract more students is accessibility, both financially and in content. Platzi, Chapaval mentions, offers free programming courses that aim to be accessible to those with low internet connection in all parts of Colombia and Latin America.

It’s not just about what you are learning as an individual, but also as a team or a group,” she says. “That also adds to the working ecosystem of Latin America.”

Regardless of gender, age, or background, Chapaval believes “education is very important if we want to break these blockers.”

In fact, two crucial skills she believes everyone should know is programming and English. “I like to say that both skills have to do with communications; communication with machines and with other people in the world,” she says.

In a time when remote jobs are pertinent due to the pandemic, having communication skills is a valuable asset for STEM careers in any country.

“Programming should be a basic skill that schools teach as well because it’s not only [beneficial] to be a developer,” Chapaval says. “It helps you understand how to solve problems in a logical way.”

Chapaval is grateful for her personal growth in STEM and hopes that Platzi can help others grow.

Photo courtesy of Apple

“I hope [students] can create what they dream of with the coding skills that they can get with us and can show it to the world,” she says.

“Latin America is a lovely region and a lot is happening here,” she says. “I hope that if this community can get to know each other and create the next big companies and big solutions for problems that we have right now, I would [be] fulfilled.”

As the gender disparity in STEM slowly expands, Chapaval continues to vouch for women to speak up and push through in the field.

Proudly Chapaval says, “Latinas are very extroverted, and the tech and software engineering world needs more extroverted people [like us] to add to their ecosystem.”

The App Store featured Platzi for Women’s History Month.

Read: She Came As A Teen From Colombia With Only $300 To Her Name, Now She’s a Director For NASA

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A Florida Doctor Is Being Charged with a Hate Crime After Assaulting a Latino Man at a Supermarket

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A Florida Doctor Is Being Charged with a Hate Crime After Assaulting a Latino Man at a Supermarket

Photos via MIAMI-DADE CORRECTIONS, Getty Images

It’s an unfortunate reality that Latinos face immense amounts of racism in America. Case in point: a Florida doctor is facing hate crime charges after assaulting a Latino man at a supermarket.

According to police, a 58-year-old woman followed a Latino man out to the parking lot, keyed his car, smashed his phone, and punched him–all the while hurling racially-charged insults at him.

The altercation happened on Jan. 20th at a Publix supermarket in Hialeah, Florida–a town with a large Latino population. It all started when the victim, an unnamed Latino man, asked Dr. Jennifer Susan Wright to maintain social distancing in Spanish. After she ignored him, the man repeated the question in English.

It was at this point that Dr. Wright, who is an anesthesiologist at Mount Sinai Medical Center, became incensed and began muttering curse words under her breath. After the man left the grocery store, Dr. Wright followed him out to the parking lot.

She began to verbally berate him, calling him a “spic” and telling him “we should have gotten rid of you when we could.”

According to the police report, she also said: “This is not going to be Biden’s America, this is my America.” The woman then took her keys out an began to “stab the victim’s vehicle with her keys” while telling him to “go back to his country”.

The man took out his phone to call 911 and the woman allegedly punched him, causing him to drop his phone. When he bent over to pick his phone up, she allegedly kicked him and tried to stomp on his phone.

The woman fled before the police came, but she was arrested on Feb 12th at her home in Miami Springs.

The woman was initially charged with tampering with a victim, criminal mischief and battery with prejudice. The “hate crime” charge was later added, elevating the crime to a felony.

According to reports, Wright posted her $1000 bail and is now awaiting trial. Mount Sinai Medical Center released a statement saying that Dr. Wright is “no longer responsible for patient care” after assaulting a Latino man.

According to the Miami Herald, neighbors know Dr. Jennifer Wright as an ardent Trump supporter. Her social media pages are riddled with far-right, Pro-Trump memes and photos of her posing in a MAGA hat. She even uploaded a post that read: “It’s Okay To Be White.”

We can all agree that it’s “okay” to be white. It’s okay to be any race. We cannot, however, all agree that it’s okay to be a violent, racist bigot. We hope the victim has recovered and we hope Jennifer Wright will face justice.

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