Little Havana facts for kids
La Pequeña Habana
|Neighborhood of Miami|
Little Havana's famous Domino Park on Calle Ocho
Little Havana neighborhood within the city of Miami
|• Density||21,815/sq mi (8,423/km2)|
|Time zone||EST (UTC-05)|
|ZIP Code||33125, 33126, 33128, 33130, 33135|
|Area code(s)||305, 786|
Little Havana (Spanish: La Pequeña Habana) is a neighborhood of Miami, Florida, United States. Home to many Cuban immigrant residents, as well as many residents from Central and South America, Little Havana is named after Havana, the capital and largest city in Cuba.
Little Havana is noted as a center of social, cultural, and political activity in Miami. Its festivals, including the Calle Ocho Festival, Viernes Culturales/Cultural Fridays, the Three Kings Parade and others, have been televised to millions of people every year on different continents. It is also known for its landmarks, including Calle Ocho (SW 8th Street/Tamiami Trail), and its Walk of Fame (for famous artists and Latin personalities, including Celia Cruz, Willy Chirino, and Gloria Estefan), the Cuban Memorial Boulevard, Plaza de la Cubanidad, Domino Park, the Tower Theater, Jose Marti Park, the Firestone/Walgreens Building, St. John Bosco Catholic Church, Municipio de Santiago de Cuba and others.
Little Havana is the best known neighborhood for Cuban exiles in the world. It is characterized by its street life, with restaurants, music and other cultural activities, mom and pop enterprises, political passion, and great warmth amongst its residents.
In 2015, Little Havana was included in the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s annual list of 11 Most Endangered Places. In 2017, the Trust declared it a national treasure.
Originally a lower-middle-class Southern and a thriving Jewish neighborhood in the 1930s. The name "Little Havana" emerged in the 1960s as the concentration of Cubans in the area grew sharply. Little Havana is the name affixed to a sprawling neighborhood lying immediately west of Downtown Miami. It stretches west from the Miami River for several miles. This sobriquet was applied to the Shenandoah and Riverside neighborhoods in the 1960s, following the beginnings of a vast influx of Cuban refugees there. Little Havana is famous as the cultural and political capital of Cuban Americans, and the neighborhood is a center of the Cuban exile community.
As of 2011, Little Havana has the highest concentration of Hispanics (98%) in Miami. Within the Hispanic population, the Cuban population has experienced a substantial decrease from 84% in 1979 to 58% in 1989; however, a group of Hispanics from other countries, especially those from Nicaragua, Honduras, and other Central American countries has substantially increased since the late-1990s.
A Florida Atlantic University study surveyed locals who agreed that the neighborbood is bordered approximately by the following :
- Western Border: Southwest 27th Avenue
- Eastern Border: Southwest 4th Avenue
- Northern Border: West Flagler Street
- Southern Border: Southwest 9th Street
As of 2000, Little Havana had a population of 49,206 residents, with 19,341 households, and 11,266 families residing in the neighborhood. The median household income was $15,213.16. The ethnic makeup of the neighborhood was 85.08% Hispanic or Latino of any race (mainly Cubans, but also many Nicaraguans and Hondurans, as well as other Latinos), 3.79% Black or African American (not including Afro-Cubans, Afro-Nicaraguans, Afro-Hondurans, and other Afro-Latinos), 10.14% Non-Hispanic White, and 0.96% of other races.
South River Drive Historic District
|South River Drive Historic District|
|Location||Little Havana, Miami, Florida|
|Area||25 acres (100,000 m2)|
The South River Drive Historic District is a U.S. historic district (designated as such on August 10, 1987) located in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood on the eastern end of the neighborhood along the Miami River just west of Downtown Miami. The district includes 428, 438 Southwest 1st Street, 437 Southwest 2nd Street, 104, 109, 118 Southwest South River Drive. It contains 9 historic buildings.
Viernes Culturales (English: Cultural Fridays) is an artistic, cultural, and social arts and culture fair that takes place on the last Friday of each month in the historic Little Havana neighborhood of Miami in the heart of Calle Ocho (8th St. SW between 14th and 17th Avenues).
The event consists of outdoor musical performances on a stage and along the sidewalks of Calle Ocho, art exhibits along the sidewalk and in plazas and open spaces, visits to art galleries and cultural centers, cuisine tasting at participating restaurants, and films, art exhibits, and educational programs at the historic Tower Theatre. Free walking tours, led by Miami historian Dr. Paul George leave from the Tower Theater at 7pm each festival.
- Máximo Gómez Park (better known as Domino Park), Calle Ocho
- Plaza de la Cubanidad
- Cuban Memorial Boulevard Park (SW 13th Avenue)
- Sewell Park
- Fern Isle Park
- Henderson Park
- Riverside Park
- Grapeland Heights Waterpark
- Jose Marti Park
- L'Alliance Française de Miami, French language and cultural society
- La Società Dante Alighieri, Italian language and cultural society
Museums and memorials
- Bay of Pigs Museum and Library
- Cuban Memorial Boulevard Park (SW 13th Avenue)
Theaters and performance arts
- Tower Theatre, 1508 SW 8th St
- Manuel Artime Theatre, 900 SW 1st St
- Miami-Dade County Auditorium, 2901 W Flagler St
- Teatro 8, 2101 SW 8th St
- ArtSpoken Performing Arts Center, 529 SW 12th Ave
- Havanafama, 752 SW 10th Ave
- Teatro Avante, 744 SW 8th Street 2 Floor
Calle Ocho Festival
Little Havana hosts its annual Calle Ocho street festival (part of the overall Carnaval Miami celebration), one of the largest in the world, with over one million visitors attending Calle Ocho alone. It is a free street festival with a Caribbean carnival feel sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Little Havana.
Calle Ocho is where different ethnic communities wear colors or flags representing pride in their heritage. Flags from Colombia to Nicaragua to Puerto Rico to Costa Rica and even Ireland flood the streets. Foods from different countries are usually sold, and popular music like reggaeton, salsa, bachata and merengue can be heard through the festival.
In 1977 tensions among Miami’s different ethnic groups were running high. Eight Cuban-Americans, mostly from the Kiwanis of Little Havana, were trying to come up with ideas to address the situation. They considered a bicycle race on SW Eighth Street (Calle Ocho). It was turned down because the organizers feared that it would pit one ethnic group against another. Willy Bermello came up with the idea of doing something similar to the block parties and street festivals of Philadelphia. Calle Ocho was born.
The festival takes place between 27th Ave and 4th Ave along Southwest 8th Street. Over 30 stages and hundreds of street vendors participate in the live music street festival now in its 4th decade. Calle Ocho earned an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records when 119,986 people formed the world's longest conga line on March 13, 1988.
In 2010, the Florida legislature identified the Calle Ocho-Open House 8 festival as the official state festival.
Places of interest
- Calle Ocho (SW 8th Street)
- Cuban Memorial Boulevard (SW 13th Avenue)
- Little Havana Visitors Center (1600 SW 10
- Centro Cultural Español de Cooperación Iberoamericana,
- Versailles Restaurant
- Padilla Cigar Factory 
- Marlins Park (former site of the Orange Bowl)
- Calle Ocho Walk of Fame (SW 8th Street between SW 12th Avenue and SW 17th Avenue)
- Ball & Chain (1513 SW 8 Street) World Famous Live Music Bar & Lounge; originally opened in 1935
Images for kids
Little Havana Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.