Urban Studies Senior Seminar Papers

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Suggested Citation:
Casellas, Marisa. El Barrio: Latino Relationships in North Philadelphia and Impacts on Puerto Rican Businesses. University of Pennsylvania, Urban Studies Program. 2007.


Abstract: Latinos are the fastest growing minority in the United States. Every year hundreds of immigrants enter the U.S. both legally and illegally searching for a better life and greater economic and social opportunities. While there is much talk in the media about how Latino immigrant groups interact with African American and Asian communities, the relationship between different Latino groups is hardly ever mentioned. A variety of Latino groups have made North Philadelphia a home and immigrant haven; establishing businesses and participating in the labor force. In establishing themselves, many groups such as Dominicans have opened new businesses where Puerto Rican ones previously existed. North Philadelphia is not only a cultural haven but also a center of great Latino tension. Hispanics are divided politically; yet do not realize that these tensions are slowly tearing the community apart. Community leaders and residents do not publicly address the issue and are often hesitant to talk about it. With an already divided community and a fast growing community of new immigrant businesses owners, how are Puerto Rican businesses affected by these changes? The aim in doing this thesis is not only to better understand how Latinos in North Philadelphia interact with one another but to also understand why so many Puerto Rican businesses have closed and if they have been pushed elsewhere due to any Latino tensions. Through interviews with community leaders and residents as well as various trips to North Philadelphia, I will attempt to understand what factors influence tensions among Latinos and establish the link between Puerto Rican businesses.


Urban Studies, Philadelphia, Latino



Date Posted: 28 July 2010