Celebrating the Latino Legacy of Palm Springs

The earliest recorded exploration of Palm Springs following Native American settlement for over a thousand years was by Mexican travellers. In 1823, Mexico had already gained independence from Spain when the country’s monarchy was put to an end.

That same year, Mexican diarist José María Estudillo and Brevet Captain José Romero were commissioned to find a viable path from Sonora to Alta California. It was during this expedition that they first noted the existence of ‘Agua Caliente’ at Palm Springs.

The region later become part of the United States as a result of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo after a territorial war, but its Latino roots – almost 200 years later – still pervade this popular center of desert culture.

Tijuana, a major Mexican city at the border, is only a two-and-a-half hour drive away from Palm Springs (the drive to San Diego is a mere two hours).

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Latin American Art from the Heart

If you’re looking to tap into your Latino roots or are simply fascinated by the culture of the other half of our continent, the Palm Springs Art Museum is an enlightened place to start. It’s got a rolling calendar of events, activities and exhibitions with a touch of the historical and modern-day presence of our Latino brothers and sisters.

The largest cultural institution in the Coachella Valley opens a window into the soul of the Latin American artist. Renowned painter Diego Rivera – once-husband of Frida Kahlo – is featured in the permanent collection.

Get up close and personal with the greats of the 20th century as well as Native American art. If you’re a local, your kids can mingle with peers from a colorful assortment of backgrounds in a safe space that nurtures their natural artistic sensibility and sense of community.

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A Menu Touched by Mexican Goodness

Cauliflower ceviche tostada, stuffed pineapples, Coachella date cake, mint aguafresca. Californian at its core with a Latino aftertaste, the menu at Citrus & Palm never ceases to delight. Our chef Paul Hancock is a master of subtle fusion dishes for a multicultural palate – no boring, one-dimensional entries allowed!

We like to keep it light and fragrant in Indian Wells, so you have space for a tasty cocktail to enjoy in our spectacular back garden.

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Vamos a Bailar

Our fellow Hispanics and Latinos never shy away from a good boogie. One of the best-known and most beloved cultural exports of Latin America is salsa, and you can indulge in the fiery dance with a passionate cohort at Salsa Dancing in the Desert. Partner up with a Latino born dancer for some extra kick to your session!

There are plenty of awesome Latino-friendly bars and nightclubs in the area too: Copa and The Nest are a good night out. Leave the drinks to us – our liquor-adorned, summer resort events give you a reason to chill out with us in the company of tacos, tequila and starlight pool dips.

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Retail Therapy, Latino Style

Pop into the little boutiques in Old Town La Quinta, which spill out into a street market on Sundays. Between fine wines and cold-pressed olive oil, there’s always an opportunity to sample the Latino pulse and influence on Palm Springs.

Try the Latino’s Meat Market in Desert Hot Springs for some freshly prepared supplies to make a tasty meal more ‘caliente’. This outlet frequently pops in the neighborhood’s village fests too, so keep an eye out for what’s happening when you’re here.

You can stumble upon a rare southern treasure among the many collectibles at The Palm Canyon Galleria too. Tribal, floral, desert and exotic themes permeate the one-of-a-kind items that pay homage to our universal spirit that knows no borders.