By Amy Kawata

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It’s Hispanic Heritage Month and we’re recognizing the Hispanic and Latino community in Baltimore.

“For me to be a Hispanic-Latino is important because it represents who I am,” said Angelo Solera, Executive Director and Founder of Nuestras Raices, Inc.

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Angelo Solera with Nuestras Raices Inc is dedicated to educating, promoting and preserving the richness and diversity of the 25 different countries that make up the Latino community.

“It’s important for people to understand not all of us eat tacos (but to) not all of us are illegal aliens, said Solera. “We are a diverse community who are making a contribution to the city and the state.”

Today the Latino community makes up the largest ethnic minority in the US and one that has also exploded here in Baltimore.

“We have opened hundreds of businesses, purchased hundreds of homes. Not just that, we are rebuilding Baltimore. If you go to any construction site, the majority of workers are Latinos,” said Solera.

In fact, US census data shows the city’s Hispanic and Latino population doubled in just a decade — from about four percent in 2010 to eight percent in 2020.

Primarily in Baltimore City, the largest group within the Latino community is the Mexican community — which is very large — Then you have El Salvadorians, then you have Hondurans, Dominicans, Ecuadorians and so on.

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That’s why Solero is hoping to share the unique and vibrant culture with others through “Fiesta Baltimore” this weekend in East Baltimore.

The event will include the Latino cultural festival and parade of Latino nations.

“Brings together many different folk groups, marching band, floats, cars trucks representing different countries different cultures, different styles of music,” Solero added.

It’s a reminder of the diverse cultures that enrich Baltimore and the contribution of immigrants of all nationalities to our region.

“This is where the Latino community is, has been and will continue to do so for the years,” Solero said. “We are here to stay. We aren’t going anywhere.”

Nuestras Raices is hosting Fiesta Baltimore this Sunday from 11 a.m to 7 p.m. at Patterson Park and Highlandtown.

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