Making the National Museum of the American Latino a Reality [Video]

“Friends of the National Museum of the American Latino” Bringing Latinos together…why it’s important. 


As Latino in America today….there are always so many questions.

Are you Latino or Hispanic? Do you speak Spanish as your first language? Do you speak Spanish at all? Were you born in the U.S.? What is your Latin ethnicity?

Defining what it is to be Latino can be a long and complex answer. With each of our individual ties to various Spanish speaking countries be it Mexico, Puerto Rico, the Caribbean countries, or one of the many countries of Central or South America we certainly have diverse backgrounds as Latinos. Although some of our traditions, foods, religion and language tie us together—these are some of the things that separate us as well.

With all of this diversity, you can travel throughout the United States visiting numerous museums and cultural centers that focus on a specific Latino culture.

There is El Museo del Barrio in NYC, the Mexican Museum in San Francisco, the Latino Cultural Center in Dallas just to name a few of the many wonderful places that celebrate our individual histories, our art and music. I know I’m incredibly lucky being in New York to have quite a few museums local to me that I can visit whenever I want.


Latin Business Today, Director of Community Relations, Tina Trevino, May 10th attending “Dinner with Friends” in support of the National Museum of the American Latino at the New York Edition Hotel

Latin Business Today, Director of Community Relations, Tina Trevino, May 10th attending “Dinner with Friends” in support of the National Museum of the American Latino at the New York Edition Hotel

And although it is easy to say the Latino “differences” amongst ourselves are huge, it is just as clear to see the things that we share as a total culture and want to commemorate and keep alive. We appreciate our brethren Latino contributions.

We are a people who have strong bonds to our families, traditions, and heritage. We have made great strides in this country by continuing to build on the hard work, perseverance and determination of others.

We have an incredible ability to overcome hardship and obstacles. We have interwoven our stories into the fabric of American life and want a place for young Latinos as well as the rest of the world to gain an awareness of just how much we have truly contributed as a culture.

We want our youth to know there are no boundaries to what they can achieve.

So it is hard to believe that as a people we actually don’t have a designated national museum to raise this awareness? 

American Latino Museum on the Red Carpet

What does currently exist at the national level is the Smithsonian Latino Center which came about as a response to a 1994 report titled “Willful Neglect: The Smithsonian Institution and U.S. Latinos” which outlined a lack of Latino representation at the Smithsonian.

Basically, the Smithsonian admit to a poor job of representing the contributions of the Latino community to America. In response, the Center for Latino Initiatives was created in 1997 which later changed names to the Smithsonian Latino Center.

This in itself was a groundbreaking moment for Latinos—the recognition of our hard work to build this country. 

Now with the help of the “Friends of the National Museum of the American Latino”, the center is now pushing for a gallery in the Arts & Industries Building on the National Mall putting it in one of the most highly trafficked areas for the general public to easily access our story.

Next page- Latino accomplishments and some who to be recognized.

Tina Trevino
Tina Trevino
Tina Trevino, Partner & Director of Community Relations for Latin Biz Today is President & CEO of Tocaya Design under which she does design consulting for major apparel companies as well as designs, manufactures and markets her women’s lifestyle brand, Tocaya. With 25 years of industry experience most recently as Design Director of KBL Group Intl. Ltd., she has managed large creative design teams. Trevino provides insight on upcoming fashion trends for each season collaborating with designers, merchants and product development teams to help develop brand appropriate apparel. She specializes in sweaters, knits and wovens. Having previously worked with private label brands for stores like Kohl’s, NY & Co, White House|Black Market, and Ann Taylor to name a few as well as brands like Lee jeans, Wendy Williams, Brooke Shields Timeless, Torn by Ronny Kobo, and Whitney Port, she has the ability to build brands from the design and merchandising process all the way through fitting, production, and marketing.

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