National Florida Day: 3 Facts that Will Make You Feel You Still Are in Latin America Pixabay

National Florida Day, observed annually on January 25, commemorates the state's admission as the 27th member of the United States in 1845. Often referred to as the Sunshine State, Florida is renowned not only for its pleasant, sunny climate and its pristine beaches with white sands and azure waters, but also for its cultural significance for Latino communities.

27% of Florida's 22,610,726 residents are of Latino or Hispanic origin, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. But if you look only at Miami, the proportion is much larger. About 70 percent of Miami's total population of 442,241 inhabitants are Latinos, according to the 2020 Census.

Florida's culture is heavily influenced by its population with South America, Central America, and Caribbean roots, many of them hailing from places such as the Dominican Republic, Cuba, and Puerto Rico. Recently, there was a big wave of Venezuelan immigration as well.

The Cuban migration has mostly concentrated in the State, especially considering their geographical closeness. According to data from 2017-2021 compiled by the Migration Policy Institute, 76% of all Cuban immigrants in the United States have resided in the state of Florida. Specifically, the Miami-Dade county welcomed 52% of them, followed by Hillsborough, Broward, Palm Beach, and Lee.

Florida has also become home to many global celebrities, among them Argentine soccer superstar Lionel Messi, winner of eight 'Ballon d'Or' awards, who has been playing for the MLS' Inter Miami since 2023.

Iconic Latina artists such as Shakira, Jennifer Lopez, or Gloria Estefan have also lived in Florida for many years.

Here are three facts that will make Florida feel like you are still in Latin America

National Florida Day: 3 Facts that Will Make You Feel You Still Are in Latin America

The Annual International Ballet Festival of Miami is one of
The Annual International Ballet Festival of Miami is one of the Latin American activities available in Florida. IBFM Facebook

1. Florida is the Perfect Place to Speak Spanish

It won't come as a surprise that, due to the huge Latino population in Florida, Spanish is spoken everywhere. Try going to a store, a bank, or a restaurant, and you will certainly find someone who can communicate in Castellano.

In fact, in Miami, people are switching from speaking standard English. What started as Spanglish due to Latino immigration has now become a whole new English dialect, the Miami-English, with people using phrases such as "get down from the car" instead of "get out of the car" or "married with" instead of "married to," expressions that are directly translated from Spanish rather than interpreted and adapted to English.

2. Florida's Offering of Latin American Cultural Activities

Florida consistently offers Latinos some of the best music shows, consistently featuring Latino artists throughout the year. Moreover, there is a diverse array of cultural activities available in Latino museums and cultural centers.

For example, you can visit the American Museum of the Cuban Diaspora or Miami Hispanic Cultural Arts Center, where every year you can attend to the Annual International Ballet Festival of Miami.

3. Latin American Restaurant Offerings in Florida

Florida, a state that encapsulates a fusion of cultures from across Latin America, has evolved into an ideal destination for those who relish exploring new restaurants. The culinary scene offers a diverse array of options, including Mexican, Peruvian, Colombian, Brazilian, Venezuelan, Cuban, and Argentine cuisines, catering to every palate and budget.

From casual taquerías and burger joints to upscale fine dining establishments inspired by Latin American gastronomic traditions, Florida, and particularly Miami, is a must-visit for food enthusiasts.

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