Barrio

Hola todos,

Bienvenido and Welcome

Coming to you from El Barrio. 

To our supporters and to those discovering us. 

We are Toronto Latinos. 

Who are we? 

Toronto Latinos is a movement for Latinos by Latinos. We invite our friends to be part of La Familia, but we want to reach out of our comfort zone and lead a better life. According to Census Canada (2016), over 674,640 Latinos in Canada, and 72,855 of those are located in Toronto. Although Latinos make up 3% of the visible minority in Toronto, a vast cultura continues to grow. 

Our mission: 

To create a place of belonging for Latinos aqui en Toronto, en Canada and Worldwide. Bringing awareness to culture, music, businesses and constantly expanding our ventures. 

How did we get here? 

Toronto Latinos started as a fundraiser to raise money for the 2015 earthquake in Ecuador, and t-shirts were selling as fast as hot tamales. And from there, it was over. Going forward, people began to invest their interest in what has never been done before in the Latin community in Toronto. Hence, the birth of “Barrio”. 

Barrio? 

Barrio, from a literal translation, means neighbourhood but is commonly referred to as the Spanish-speaking community in where Spanish-speaking people reside. Furthermore, Barrio refers to the Spanish-speaking quarter that typically has high poverty rates. But here at Barrio, we set to challenge the status quo and its meanings and expand it to foster awareness in the Latin community. As el Barrio, there is an obligation for us to expand and do more by inspiring others to break free of these social stereotypes and encourage each other to pursue their dreams and be a part of something bigger than themselves. Barrio means sharing the power of growth and cultura while embracing your roots as part of your identity. 

What’s Next? Que Sigue?

We went from knocking on doors to opening doors to our community to evolve to a global network that moves beyond a Toronto brand into Barrio, gaining world recognition. Namely, Karol G and Ozuna have been repping our movement, inspiring us to continue our pursuits. We want to create a memorable experience through events, showcases, seminars and spotlights to demonstrate that Latinos are present and having fun while making history. Going forward, every week, we will be venturing into new topics and engaging you in old school/new school Latin news, highlights, cultura, reviews and opinion pieces. Focussed on inspiring the Latin community and connecting you all to one another. 

Who am I? 

Mi nombre es Maria Alejandra Guardado. I am a first-generation Canadian, but I am pura Latina, from an El Salvadoran and Venezuelan background. I am a fourth-year student at Ryerson University studying Political Science, minoring in Sociology and French. And I want to say thank you to El Barrio for giving me this opportunity to connect to mi cultura, language, and most importantly, all of you. And I am so excited to take this journey with you all and want to help showcase how important Latino culture is not only in Toronto but to the world. I invite you to take this journey with me week by week, and let’s change the world together. Dios de benigada and esta dia I leave you with a quotation by Dominican-American writer, Pulitzer prize winner, and a university professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Junot Diaz in his works Drown (1997). 

“I used to think those were the barrio rules, Latinos and blacks in, whites out —a place we down cats weren’t supposed to go. But love teaches you. Clears your head of any rules.”

Written by Maria Guardado

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