The City of Denver is known for a number of things. It’s dubbed the Mile-High City for its high-altitude (one mile up, to be exact), though its proximity to the Rocky Mountains also garners it plenty of notoriety. Denver is also known for its sports teams and its love of craft beer and, of course, for being one of the first places where recreational cannabis could be purchased and consumed legally. It’s a great town, and while diversity could be a little better (only about 19% of the current population is non-white), there are some great sites of interest for us Latinxs looking to explore with our roots in mind. The next time you’re in town, make sure to give these Latinx-spaces some love.
Located in the Santa Fe Arts District, Su Teatro is a long-beloved destination for Latinx folks to enjoy live theatrical performances, plus Spanish-language film (Thursdays are XicanIndie Movie Nights!) and even an annual Chicano Music Festival. They also give back to the community by way of the Cultural Arts Education Institute, which provides free after-school theater programs for youth, plus workshops, school touring shows, and more.
Run by the same folks who are currently building the Latino Cultural Arts Center, Hijos del Sol is a charming little shop that sells gifts created by local and international Latinx artists and artisans—from earrings to handbags and postcards. Once the future LCAC is created, artists will get the chance to lead classes, lectures, and demos in the space. For now, you can drop in and shop here (or even purchase gifts from them online so the LCAC might be open for your next visit).
This hidden gem can be found within the Ninth Street Historic Park, in the center of Aurauria Campus (which serves the University of Colorado Denver, Metropolitan State University of Denver, and the Community College of Denver). The quaint Victorian house is actually a non-profit seeking to preserve the contributions of the Latinx community that once predominantly inhabited the area. Public and private tours of the space are available; just call ahead for more info.
This local Mexican bakery has been serving up pancitos and dulces of all kinds for over four decades to folks in the Mile High City. Located in the Highlands, it’s well-known for its conchas and bolillos, and is the spot for purchasing holiday favorites like pan de muerto and calaveras de azucar during Dia de los Muertos.
The Chicano Humanities and Arts Council (CHAC) Gallery is the spot to peruse local Latinx art. Aside from gorgeous, colorful works of art, the gallery also hosts workshops for artists of all ages to hone in on their skills. They’re currently located along the First Fridays Art Walk route but will soon be moving down the road to a larger location.
A hop, skip, and jump away from central Denver and you’ll find yourself in Aurora, where Sonora Cinema (also known as Cinema Latino) resides. Cinema Latino is the only theater in town that exclusively plays popular films dubbed or subtitled in Spanish, so it’s a cool place to check out if you need some downtime on a trip. They also frequently have raffles, discounts, and events geared for the local Latinx community.
If you’re in the mood to check out well-curated Latin American art while in town, there’s no better place than el Museo de las Americas. The museum features a collection of over 3,000 pieces of ancient and contemporary art—plus rotating exhibitions that reflect and honor our culture. Museo also features occasional live events and summer camps for Denver kids to explore their Latinidad, so you can feel good that your museum admission is being spent well.