Examining the origins of Detroit's Hispanic communities

Posted at 6:19 PM, Oct 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-06 19:18:40-04

(WXYZ) — In tonight's 7 UpFront segment we're looking at how Detroit's vibrant Hispanic community emerged in southwest Detroit and Mexicantown.

Joining us to talk about it is Maria Elena Rodriguez, author of Detroit's Mexicantown.

You can see the full interview in the video player above.

"We had a vibrant community that started in the early 20s and it ran up and down Michigan Avenue, Bagley Avenue, and including Vernor," Rodriguez says. "So, it was pretty large and we had more business initially, up until the 80s. Now we have 1,500 business, small, micro, family-owned businesses, in a three-mile radius. Our community settled in southwest Detroit and that was not by accident. They settled there in what we now call the neighborhood that built the car and that would be all of southwest Detroit because we sat in the shadows of the Rouge plant and Henry Ford was a brilliant man and he knew what he needed for the plant to be successful, or his business to be successful, so he brought people in from all over the world and we all settled in southwest Detroit and that includes the Latino community, the Mexican community and by word of mouth you found out they were doing very well."