13 People and Places Keeping San Francisco’s Latino Roots Alive

Every time you blink, another precious piece of San Francisco gets gentrified – pero no te agüites! Latino culture has deep roots and it’s holding strong. Check out 13 people and places keeping San Francisco’s Latino roots alive.

Clarion Alley Mural Project

Photo Credit: sswj40 / Flickr

Latinos and murals go together like, well, Latinos and murals. On the walls of Clarion Alley between 17th and 18th Streets in the Mission District, there’s an ever-changing kaleidoscope of street art.

The Tamale Lady

Photo Credit: sanfranannie / Flickr

Meet Virginia Ramos, the Tamale Lady ( technically, it should be the Tamal Lady, but whatever). She’s pretty much the patron saint of bar goers in San Francisco, showing up out of nowhere just when your buzz needs to be tempered with a warm tamal. But San Francisco has rules and rules shut her down. She’s resurfaced on Twitter and Yelp still reports sightings of her, but shush! Don’t tell the rules police.

Balompie Café

Photo Credit: streamishmc / Flickr

If you’re in the mood for pupusas, San Francisco has you covered. Located in the Mission, Balompie Café is just one of the numerous Salvadorian restaurants serving up deliciously affordable discs of masa filled with frijoles and other goodies.


Photo Credit: Olivia V. / Yelp

Not in the mood for Mexican? That’s alright, San Francisco has three locations of Peruvian restaurant Limón. Their ceviche is always a good call. Also give their tangy Leche de Tigre cocktail or crispy chicharrón de pollo a try.

READ: Tips to Take Mouth-Watering #FoodPorn Pics


Photo Credit: justinbeck / Flickr

Ice cream trucks in San Francisco are the stuff of urban legends. Fortunately the city has plenty of paleteros. When you hear the bell ringing, you know someone nearby offering arroz con leche paletas just like abuela taught you to love.

The Mexican Museum

Strolling Mariachi

Cantando "El rancho grande." I love my peoples! #CorazonLatino

A photo posted by Claudya Martinez (@unknownmami) on


Photo Credit: Mani B. / Yelp

Taquerias in San Francisco are famed for their burritos, not their tacos. Burritos everywhere else strive to be as good. San Francisco’s burritos eat burritos from other places for breakfast.

The Mexican Bus

Photo Credit: meandmybadself / Flickr

The Mexican Bus is more of an experience than a form of transportation. You can tour the streets and clubs of San Pancho in buses by the name of El Volado, Margarita or Lola, which are decorated like the Mexican buses of yore.

Galería de la Raza

Photo Credit: Annette DuBois / Flickr

Since 1970, the non-profit Galería de la Raza has acted as a lab for Latino artists while championing awareness and appreciation for Chicano and Latino art.

San Francisco Latino Historical Society

Photo Credit: sflatinohistoricalsociety / Facebook

Created in 2012, the San Francisco Latino Historical Society is dedicated to “documenting the Chicano, Latino and Indigena contribution to the development of San Francisco.” Last year, the SFLHS hosted a Latino Heritage Fair in San Francisco’s Public Library.

Puerto Alegre Restaurant

First # PuertoAlegre margarita of the year. Salud!

A photo posted by Claudya Martinez (@unknownmami) on

Aztec Dancers

Aztec Dance is alive and well in San Francisco thanks to dance groups like Mixcoatl Anahuac. Their performances throughout San Francisco and the Bay Area will hopefully inspire younger generations to keep the tradition alive.

Y colorín colorado this Latino cuento in San Francisco no se ha acabado.

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Video Shows Massive 139-Year-Old Victorian House Moved Entirely In One Piece Through San Francisco Streets

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Video Shows Massive 139-Year-Old Victorian House Moved Entirely In One Piece Through San Francisco Streets

Sometimes, home isn’t just where the heart is, it’s where you pack it up and move it. San Francisco resident Tim Brown seems to know this truth after buying a home in 2013 and moving it to a new location.

The 139-year-old Victorian house was moved in one piece through the streets of San Francisco to a new location.

The 5,170-square-foot house was relocated from its original address at 807 Franklin St. to 635 Fulton St., just a few blocks away.

Brown bought the home in 2013 with plans to repair it after it fell into disrepair. According to Hoodline, the house has six bedrooms and three baths and “will be relocated to 635 Fulton Street, where an existing building, which housed Bryant Mortuary for nearly 60 years, has already been moved to the eastern side of the 10,415-square-foot site to make room for it. The move is currently slated to occur on February 21, barring any rain delays.”

The house will be combined and turned into a 17-unit apartment building according to a report by SF Gate. A 47-unit apartment complex will be built in the house’s previous lot.

According to users on Twitter, the house’s move became somewhat of a parade as onlookers came out to watch a truck slowly move the historic house.

“It’s the most excitement I’ve had in 10 years. What if it topples?” Camilla Blomqvist said in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle.

According to Phil Joy, a veteran house mover, the house’s quarter-mile move took several years to plan.

According to Joy, the move was particularly difficult because the house was 80 feet in length and part of the path required going downhill.

“We had to get 15 different city agencies to agree to this,” Joy explained about the house which cost Brown nearly $400,000 in moving costs and fees.

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A San Francisco Mural Is Honoring An Undocumented Guatemalan Immigrant Who Was Unarmed And Killed By Police

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A San Francisco Mural Is Honoring An Undocumented Guatemalan Immigrant Who Was Unarmed And Killed By Police

The people of San Francisco have a lot of heart. Yes, the wealthy thrive there, and the homeless community continues to grow, but somewhere in the middle is an empowering group of fighters for justice. They do not back down but instead make their voices heard loud and clear. It’s a tight-knit alliance that is responsible for forcing change on all fronts of authority. San Franciscans are also incredibly beautiful at honoring fallen residents. 

Almost five years after 20-year-old Amilcar Perez-Lopez was gunned down by police in San Francisco, artists are honoring him with a massive mural in the Mission District.

Credit: crashgrammy / Instagram

The mural was designed and directed in community and collaboration by Carla Elana Wojczuk with, Homies Organizing the Mission to Empower Youth (HOMEY), Justice4Amilcar Coalition, Mission community, Lucía González Ippolito, and assisted by Flavia Elisa Mora; Lead Muralists: Carla Elana Wojczuk, Lucía González Ippolito, Cristian Muńoz, Anna Lisa Escobedo, Adrianna Adams, Flavia Elisa Mora (painting and poetry), Pancho Pescador; lettering: Sonia G Molin. The mural is titled “Alto al Fuego en La Misón” and the most prominent subject on the mural is Perez-Lopez, the undocumented young man from Guatemala.

On Feb. 26, 2015, Perez-Lopez was fatally shot by the SFPD, who were in plainclothes in the Mission District. The officers reported that they “opened fire to protect themselves and others from a man who was acting erratically and was armed with a knife,” the SFGate reports. Witnesses told a different story. They said Perez-Lopez was running for his life, which is why he was shot in the back. 

The Perez-Lopez investigation went on for years, and in the end, the SFPD was never charged, but Police Chief Greg Suhr did resign from his post. However, it wasn’t just because of the pushback from the Perez-Lopez investigation but from multiple fatal shootings of unarmed people at the hands of the police. His parents eventually won a settlement from the SFPD

Aside from the artful depiction of Perez-Lopez, the mural also pays tribute to Black and brown people who have died as a result of police brutality as well as people who have died on the southern border.

Credit: amaya_papaya28 / Instagram

During the year in which he was killed, Perez-Lopez “was one of the 67 Latino people killed,” the Guardian reports. The publication adds that Perez-Lopez was also one of the 58 percent who was killed and unarmed. 

“‘Why didn’t you put in Jessica Williams?’ Or, ‘Why didn’t you put in this person?’ The truth of the matter is that we just didn’t have enough space,” Ippolito told the SFWeekly. “And I wish we could include a lot more.”

Ippolito said she and the rest of the mural team were confronted with the fact they didn’t have enough space to put every person that lost their life because of the SFPD. The mural is already one of the largest murals “to be painted in the Latino Cultural Corridor in a decade,” according to the local publication. 

“That was the hardest part,” Anna Lisa Escobedo, another artist on this project, said to SF Weekly. “From the community, a lot of people were saying, ‘We are missing this person, this person, this person.’ We could do five more murals and focus on people who had the same circumstances, and that is sad.”

This isn’t the first artwork that has honored Perez-Lopez.

Credit: msmichellemeow / Instagram

His painted portrait was seen throughout the streets of San Francisco when residents demanded justice in his death. A couple of months after he was killed, artist YESCKA painted a mural that included Perez-Lopez. The mural was painted on the sidewall of the gallery Red Poppy Art House, which is located just blocks two from where Perez-Lopez was shot and killed. 

The mural by Ippolito is pretty remarkable because of its use of bright colors, and the inclusion of Mexican motifs, both the Guatemalan and San Francisco landscape, and Perez-Lopez in his signature Giants baseball cap. But the mural is also representative of an altar of sorts. Perez-Lopez is pictured inside an altar, and the rest of the people that are honored in the painting are seen on prayer candles. 

The other deceased individuals on the mural include Roxana Hernandez, Claudia Patricia Gomez Gonzalez, and Oscar and Valeria Martinez, who died either on the southern border or in ICE custody. 

Credit: cialuart / Instagram

This mural is a perfect addition to the many outstanding paintings that the city of San Francisco has to offer. 

One of my favorite things to do when I am back in the Mission is to go on a walking tour to gaze at the stunning murals that depict the people of San Francisco, but also the history of our community.  

READ: One Of The Major Artists In The Chicano Art Movement Has Died At 75

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