‘It’s culture and tradition’: Hispanic Heritage Month is underway this week in Southwest Detroit

Neighbors say they find comfort in foods, history and culture

DETROIT – People across Metro Detroit are celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month.

It is a time when people are encouraged to celebrate the history and contributions of Latin Americans across the diaspora.

Neighbors along West Verbor Highway say they find comfort in the foods, history, and culture in Detroit’s Mexican Town community daily.

“We are in Southwest Detroit,” said Karina Angulou as she took orders from Coronado Southwest Taco truck on Monday (Sept. 18).

The owners of the family-run business are initially from Jalisco, Mexico. The food truck opened about one year ago.

The team’s eyes are set on celebrating Hispanic Heritage through foods they love.

“It’s very important,” Angulou said. “I feel like it’s not really talked about often. So, we love to spread the love, spread the joy.”

Reflecting on Hispanic Heritage and culture is a daily practice in Southwest Detroit.

A few blocks down the road, Eulilia Pina has been helping women look their best for weddings, proms, and quinces for 15 years.

“A quinceanera is when a young lady goes from childhood to womanhood, and they are presented to society,” said Pina.

Pina’s dress shop has been one of the premiere spots in the state, where young women come to get ball gowns for traditional coming-of-age parties.

“Well, first of all, it has to be big,” Pina said. “The bigger, the more special it is because it makes you feel like a princess.”

There are all sorts of colors and designs to make clients feel special for what Pina describes as a family-focused celebration of young women.

“It is a culture and tradition,” Pina said.

Regarding family and tradition, Pina’s brother, Jose Rodriguez, is now running their father’s business next door. Their parents opened Rodriguez Vaquerita in Mexican Town three decades ago.

“It’s founded by my father,” said Rodriguez. “He founded the store in 1992.”

The team describes the Rodriguez Vaquerita shop as the spot to get traditional southwestern clothing, along with a variety of handmade boots and all sorts of hats.

The family said its work and service are part of Hispanic history.

“Well, it’s pretty much celebrating our culture, where we come from, and our roots,” Rodriguez said.

Neighbors in the area said they are proud to share a piece of their history and culture with the community every day.

About the Author:

Demond Fernandez joined the Local 4 News team in 2023, anchoring our 5:30 p.m. newscast and reporting on important stories impacting our community. He joined WDIV from WFAA in Dallas where he was a senior reporter focusing southern Dallas communities.