We all benefit from the contributions of local Latin Americans.
My love for Latin American culture began when I traveled to Mexico City with my 9th grade class. I was completely blown away experiencing all of the wonderful things I had only read about — influential art, catchy music, rhythmic dance, delicious food, bright palettes, exotic jewelry, intriguing history.
Now that I live in the Lowcountry, I don’t have to travel 2,000 miles to experience those things. We have it all right here, thanks to the influence and contributions of our rapidly expanding Latin American population.
When I moved here in the ’80s, there were virtually no Hispanic families here. Today, they make up 11 percent of the population of Beaufort County. I reached out to two Latin American friends when the idea of doing a “Latin Issue” crossed our minds. Both suggested we dive deeper than just the food and dance, and we’ve done that.
In this issue you will learn of the importance of our Latin American community and the contributions they make on Hilton Head, in Bluffton, in Beaufort and beyond. You’ll meet Latin Americans who are living their best lives here while keeping their cultural identity intact. You’ll discover unique and fun Latin American experiences you can have, from Latin Night at the Rooftop Bar at Poseidon to Salsa Night at the Revolution Ballroom. You’ll gain a better understanding of Latin American traditions, from glorifying grapes to the Fiesta de Quinceanera.
Go billfish hunting with Captain Bubba Carter in Costa Rica. Brush up on the Lowcountry’s Latino roots with a 5-minute history lesson. Experience interpretive Latin American art, then scan QR codes to hear local Latino voices come to life. Want to get away? Book a direct flight from SAV to Miami, Florida’s “Capital of Latin America.”
Add a little South-of-the-border flavor to your next meal by recreating pupusas from El Salvador, bandeja paisa from Colombia, salteñas from Bolivia and other national dishes from Latin American countries. Salsa, guacamole, tortillas … let’s taco ‘bout it with easy combinations for your next taco night. Find the best local spots for fresh Latin American ingredients. Mix a spicy margarita, shake a Latin-inspired cocktail and discover an under-the-radar pinot noir from the Patagonia region.
With National Hispanic American Heritage Month upon us, we feel it’s the perfect time to celebrate all things Latin America here in the Lowcountry. Listos? Vamos!
“My great strength is knowing who I am and where I come from, my island.”
-Oscar de la Renta, Dominican Designer
Super (easy) bowl
Got a package of flour tortillas left over from taco night? Put them to good use by making your own baked tortilla bowls. You can make several at a time and store them in an air-tight container for five days. Reheat at 350 degrees.
Baked taco bowl
1 10-inch flour tortilla
TV Perfect Tortilla pan ($19)
 Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
 Press tortilla into non-stick pan, no cooking spray required.
 Bake for 10 minutes.
 Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes. Fill with your favorite fixings and enjoy.