Miami Latinos are proudly celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with a pachanga in a colmado.
In many Latin American countries, a colmado is a bodega or corner store where people can buy groceries, catch up with neighbors, dance, or enjoy a beer. It's the vein to many Latino neighborhoods and often an area's de facto town hall. Think of it as a blend of a minimart and a bar.
This Saturday, October 6, Dominican designer Tony Peralta of the Peralta Project and brand creator Jose Morales of Apt.78, in partnership with Cerveza Presidente, the official beer of the Dominican Republic, will host their pop-up version of a colmado, dubbed Colmado 305. Heading to the Wynwood Marketplace, the art installation is a spinoff of the Uptown Colmado in New York this past June. And, yes, free Presidente will be served.
"We're bringing the block party idea. Miami has a large Hispanic demographic. In New York, we consider Miami the sixth borough," Morales says.
"Miami is an unofficial Latin America. So many Latinos live here, and it's a place where both Jose and I have a growing following," Peralta adds. "The colmado is not about being Dominican; it's about being Latino. People all over Latin America have colmados."
Both Morales and Peralta say they're proud to bring something so tender and nostalgic to Latinos to the forefront. They agree that Latino youth, especially second generations born and raised in the States, can become estranged from the customs of their heritage. The colmado and the celebration of it is a statement of Latino visibility and the local entrepreneur.
"As Latinos, we no longer have to assimilate to American culture. That's been happening for the last ten years," Peralta says. "We have our own music: reggaeton, dembow, Latin trap. But we're creating our own Latino-American narrative and our version of what American culture is to latinoamericanos."
The activation will include beats by Negra Fabulosa and DJ Brenmar of Fool’s Gold, dominoes will be on deck, and so will the picadera. The guys say it will be "tremenda dominicanidad," but it's also a way to represent all Latinos.
"We are catering to the kids who identify with our lifestyle. Jose and I are native New Yorkers, but we're second-generation and grew up with hip-hop, knowing how to dance merengue, and Jose is into salsa, Fania, and all that," Peralta says. "The Colmado 305 is a sancocho of what Miami is. It's going to be like in Latin America. This is for the cool, hip Latino."