Get Your Grub On: L.A. Is Celebrating Latin American Independence all Month Long

This past weekend was full of food festivities, but there’s still ample time to celebrate

With the second largest Mexican population in the world and a sizable Central and South American presence, September—full of Latin American Independence Day celebrations—is a busy month in Los Angeles.

On Saturday, Olvera Street was filled with Mexican music and dance, while Sunday saw East L.A.’s Mexican Independence Day parade display the many Mexican states represented in the city.

In MacArthur Park, Central American communities from the seven states marched around the heart of the various cultures while parade goers munched on Guatemalan garnachas (small tortillas with meat, vegetables and cheese), rice tamales, and Salvadoran pupusas. Over in Camarillo, a small but enthusiastic gathering of the local Chilean community danced the cuenca chilena while drinking pisco sours. They dined on empanadas, choripanes with pebre (Chilean sauce), and completos: Chilean hotdogs drowned in mayo and an avocado spread called puré de palta. But don’t worry, there’s still plenty of action in the coming weeks.

This Saturday and Sunday, September 19-20, L.A. Belizeans will be getting down to punta rock, Mayan music, and other tropical sounds to work off the panades—Belize’s national dish of rice n’ beans. On September 27, the Disabled American Veteran’s Hall in Woodland Hills will host the Fiesta Gaucha 2015 with a massive Argentine-style cookout, complete with whole slabs of slow cooked asado.

And after a year off and a new set of organizers, the new Brazil Day in Los Angeles, which has been moved from this weekend to October 10th, will electrify Redondo Beach with live samba, a carnival-style parade and delicious foods like acarajé (black-eyed pea fritters), pasteis (savory pastries) and feijoada (bean stew).

This is the best month of the year to get to know the culture—especially the food culture—of L.A.’s diverse Latino population in everything from intimate settings to full on extravaganzas. Just be sure to bring your dancing shoes.

Belizean September Celebration, September 19-2o, 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.,  Hollywood Park Casino, 3883, W. Century Bl. (2nd Floor), Inglewood, $30 advance purchase/$35 door, tickets available at select Belizean restaurants, bring cash for food

Fiesta Gaucha, September 27, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Disabled American Veteran’s Hall, 6543 Corbin Ave., Woodland Hills, bring cash for food

Brazil Day in L.A., October 10, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., 207 N. Harbor Blvd, Redondo Beach