The past, present and future of Los Angeles have been shaped by the rich diversity of its cultures. Nearly half of L.A.'s residents can trace their roots to Latin American origins, from Mexico and Peru to El Salvador and Costa Rica. Each year from Sept. 15 – Oct. 15, Angelenos and visitors of all backgrounds celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month, which honors the cultural heritage and traditions of the Latino population.
Los Angeles was officially founded on Sept. 4, 1781, centuries after European explorers first arrived in the region in 1542. The cradle of L.A. is El Pueblo de Los Angeles, a historic district located in the oldest section of the city. The area includes landmarks such as Los Angeles Plaza, La Placita Church, and Olvera Street, the lively outdoor Mexican marketplace where visitors can find anything from handmade leather goods to custard filled churros.
National Hispanic Heritage Month is the perfect time to experience L.A.’s vibrant and diverse cultures. The following three-day guide explores historic and modern Latino culture in Downtown, then takes you west to Museum Row and West L.A.