Hialeah, cubanos

Hialeah celebrates its 97th anniversary of founding

MADRID, Spain.- This Saturday the city of Hialeah, located in Miami-Dade County in the state of Florida, United States, celebrates its 97th anniversary.

On the night of Thursday, September 10, 1925, 532 of its inhabitants met in the Community Church, built by the settlers themselves, and elected their first mayor, Jack P. Grethen.

Present at the foundation were rancher James H. Bright and aviation pioneer Glenn Curtis, both of whom had contributed to the city’s development.

At that time, Hialeah —which in the Calusa language means “beautiful valley”— had 1,494 inhabitants. It currently has a population of almost 235,000 inhabitants; of which about 96 percent are Latino.

Known as “the city that progresses”, it brings together the largest community of Cubans outside the Island and is one of the cities where the most Spanish is spoken in the United States.

Unlike other neighborhoods like Little Havana, the Cuban presence in Hialeah is a bit more recent, since the rise of the emigration of Cubans began in 1960, after the triumph of the Cuban Revolution.

In an interview directed to CubaNet last year, The city’s mayor, Cuban-American Esteban Bovo, assured that he greatly admired the sacrifice of Cubans and of all those who have come to Hialeah putting their own dreams on hold “to feed those of their children.”

“That has to be respected. There are people who have worked in factories, long hours, so that their children can be doctors, lawyers, engineers, baseball players, whatever, but successful,” said Esteban Bovo about Cuban immigrants.

Among the most emblematic places in the city is Hialeah Park, which opened its doors in the 1920s with the racecourse that welcomed renowned riders of the time. In 1922 and under the name of Miami Kennel Club, it opened the first greyhound racing circuit in the United States. Hialeah Park has been visited by personalities such as Winston Churchill, Frank Sinatra and Al Capone.

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