A walk down Little Havana’s Calle Ocho

A walk down Calle Ocho in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood provides you a glimpse into Cuban-American culture and the history of arguably Miami’s most influential immigrant group. Calle Ocho, or SW 8th Street, is the main street of the Little Havana neighborhood.

Located just west of the Brickell financial district, the neighborhood we now call “Little Havana,” (known until the 1960s as Riverside) began to form with the arrival of Cuban immigrants after the fall of Fulgencio Batista and the rise in power of Fidel Castro and communism starting in 1959. Cubans began to flee Cuba in 1959 and initially settled in Little Havana. For decades, Calle Ocho was the heart of the Cuban community in Miami, until this group grew and assimilated into mainstream Miami society and moved to other neighborhoods of the city.

Today, Little Havana has changed in demographics, going from predominately Cuban in the 1960s, 70s and 80s to one that is predominately of Central American immigrants- Hondurans, Salvadoreans and Guatemalans. Despite this demographic change, Little Havana is the cultural heart of Miami’s large Cuban community. Numerous landmarks, monuments, statues and memorials related to Cuba and its diaspora are located throughout Calle Ocho.


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