Welcome to Casa Latina, London’s new hub for the Latinx community

A photo of Daniella Quinones posing at Casa Latina. CREDIT: GRACIA ESPINOSA
Daniella Quinones is one of the founders of this new cultural hub for the Latinx community in London.

London has welcomed a vibrant new cultural hub, Casa Latina, where the Latinx community can socialize, celebrate, and connect. Founded by Daniella Quinones from Colombia and David Ayala from El Salva­dor, Casa Latina is more than just a meeting place, it’s a dynamic space designed to foster community, cele­brate Latinx culture, and provide a welcoming environment for all.

Nestled on 150 Dundas St. near Fanshawe’s downtown campus, Casa Latina opened its doors on Feb. 17 with a lively celebration featuring live music and dance as a festive tribute to Latinx music.

“We had a little bit of everything, which was our goal to have a variety of folks from different Latin coun­tries,” Quinones said. “And it was great. The people enjoyed themselves with the dancing and having a new space to discover. That was good fun, and it was packed.”

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The hub offers a range of weekly programming and events that Lon­doners can check on the Casa Latina website, including the Spanish-Speak­ing Circle on Thursdays from 6 to 7 p.m. and Mercadito Latino, a vibrant Latin Market held every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., offering an array of Latin American delights and wares.

“The idea is to keep this space as busy as possible with the commu­nity. So, it’s meant to be a gathering space,” Quinones said.

Ayala explained that Casa Latina was a project by their organization, CulturX (pronounced Cultura), which was born to celebrate Latinx culture in London. According to the web­site, CulturX launched in 2020 and is dedicated to uplifting local Latin American businesses and providing invaluable resources and information to the community.

“We realized that Latinos need a space to celebrate their culture and authentically speak for them in London, which we did not have,” Ayala said.

Quinones emphasized the expan­sion of activities, mentioning cultural workshops, exhibitions, and even night dance parties planned for weekends.

“We’re trying to attract people, not just with the food, but the ambiance and idea of gathering and community and being together.”

At the same time, Ayala highlighted Casa Latina’s accessibility, welcom­ing private events and community gatherings.

“So if you want to have your birth­day party here and or come up with your friends and have a private event, you can do it,” Ayala said. “And we try to do it in the most affordable way possible. We are also open for the community to have their events here.”

Casa Latina is quickly becom­ing a cornerstone of downtown. Whether you want to immerse your­self in Latin dance rhythms, practice Spanish conversation, or savour traditional dishes, Casa Latina offers a welcoming space.

“Even if you grew up here or were a recently migrating immigrant, you notice that there must be a place to get together, hang out, or speak Spanish freely,” Ayala said.

As Casa Latina continues to grow and expand its offerings, it is a testament to London’s Latins community’s rich diversity and vibrant spirit.