House of Puerto Rico
A look inside the House of Puerto Rico in Balboa Park
Puerto Rican Food
Caribbean Latinx Food to San Diego
Pathways to Citizenship
North County nonprofit paves way to citizenship
Pathways to Citizenship Part 2
North County nonprofit helps woman become U.S citizen
South Bay's first mariachi degree program
Hello Auto Latina GM
Latina breaking molds in San Diego
Mexican and Latinx designers
San Diegans are celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month which runs from September 15 through October 15. This month we recognize contributions that Hispanic Americans have made in the U.S. from the people to music, food and artwork.
We begin with a closer look at the history, culture and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.
"Mi Gente" means “My People” or “Our People” in Spanish. More than 30% of San Diegans are Latinos and Latinas whose roots have given to the culture of San Diego for decades and CBS 8 wants to share that with you!
WATCH: CBS 8 MI GENTE SPECIAL:
House of Puerto Rico: A look inside the House of Puerto Rico in Balboa Park
In the middle of Balboa Park, you might hear salsa music, the oldies, and catch a person or two dancing a few steps to the beat.
"The House of Puerto Rico was christened around 2006," President Anthony Flores explained. "But the organization has been around since 1972."
Flores is in his third consecutive year as the non-profit's president, helming the mini-museum.
Puerto Rican Food: Caribbean Latinx Food to San Diego
From established Mexican restaurants in our neighborhoods for decades, to Asian spots dishing up foods from countless countries, San Diego's got no shortage of food; and the diversity is getting better.
Five days a week, you can find Ana Rivera getting her food truck, Jibaritos de la Isla, ready for business.
"I can't believe it, honestly," Rivera said. "We opened three months before COVID, and we had no idea what we were in for..."
The truck sits in the middle of Fair 44, the plot of land on the corner of El Cajon Blvd. and 44th Street; and on the corner of commodity -- as one of few Puerto Rican and Dominican restaurants in Southern California.
Pathways to Citizenship: North County nonprofit paves way to citizenship
The process to become a United States citizen can be a daunting task for anyone looking to go through it, especially by themselves.
While you'd think most help is centered around the border, a nonprofit is trying to spread it to North County San Diego.
"It's a very confusing, convoluted process to become a United States citizen, so we realized we needed to do more," Sonya Williams, Executive Director of Pathways to Citizenship, said.
Pathways to Citizenship Part 2: North County nonprofit helps woman become U.S citizen
Becoming a naturalized citizen is a painstaking task, taking a lot of studying and preparation. North County nonprofit Pathways to Citizenship helps permanent residents do it, and their latest success story is someone you might've already met.
CBS 8 introduced you to Guillermina Martinez Navarrete in October, as she studied to take the U.S. citizenship exam. She now is a full-fledged citizen.
"I'm just so proud of her and that just shows the kind of person she is," said Julia Fox, Educational Program Manager for Pathways to Citizenship and one of Guillermina's teachers.
Mariachi Degree: South Bay's first mariachi degree program
Mariachi music is a pillar of Mexican culture. Its rhythm is instantly recognizable and not just in Latin America. The iconic music genre also has some roots in San Diego County where the country’s first mariachi music degree program is offered in Chula Vista.
Inside a brand-new performing arts center at Southwestern College, students rehearse for their next time on stage.
"There's something so beautiful about playing it,” said Leonardo Lara who is getting ready to graduate next year with his associate degree in mariachi music.
"Every time I play, I just feel overwhelmed with joy being able to play it and also being able to play it for people,” he said.
Hello Auto Latina GM: Latina breaking molds in San Diego
On average, women make up about half of the U.S. workforce, and that number is even less when broken down into women of color, and by industry.
You might expect some fields, like the automotive industry, to be heavily-male dominated; one San Diego dealership shows that is changing.
When you walk in to Hello Mazda San Diego in Kearny Mesa, Idaliz Maldonado might very well be the one greeting you at the front desk, tinkering with the printer, and signing off on your paperwork as the dealership's general manager.
"There's days people come in and they look at me and they say, 'oh, can I talk to the GM," Maldonado said as she walked the lines of new cars on the lot. "Then I say, 'oh, how can I help you," and they're like, 'oh, you're the GM?" She continued. "And I'm like, 'yeah!'"
My Pipl: Mexican and Latinx designers
A group of San Diego women are working to bring Mexican, South American, and Latinx designers to United States customers, and beyond, by setting up pop-up shops in some of your favorite stores.
Once a month, inside a Nordstrom store in San Diego, you're likely to catch Linda Waisboard and her infectious demeanor. Waisboard, and her partners Diva Lomas and Catherine Bachelier, are the founders of the "My Pipl" pop-up shop.
Using their style know-how, and influence over more than a million social media followers combined, they showcase and sell bags, shoes, jewelry, and more. The designs come from Mexican and Latin American designers and brands to people they might not otherwise reach.
"I think it's important for people to understand that other countries are doing fabulous fantastic things that really compete worldwide," Waisboard said.