North Carolina’s Latino population grows 40% in 10 years


From music and food to people, Latino culture is vibrant in the Triangle.

About 11 percent of North Carolina’s population is now Latino.

The Hispanic population grew by 40% between 2010 and 2020, according to US census data analyzed by the UNC Carolina Population Center.

Salvador Alvarez and his business partners opened Chido Taco in Raleigh about two years ago.

“We have authentic tacos, like street tacos, but we also have burritos and quesadillas for people who aren’t adventurous,” Alvarez said.

Alvarez moved from Mexico to North Carolina at the age of 15. He learned the trade from his uncles, who opened Mexican restaurants in the area in the 90s. Alvarez and his partners opened their first restaurant in Cary about seven years ago.

“It’s very cool to see more Latinos coming to this area,” Alvarez said. “We also see Latinos, born here, like the second generation, Latinos coming here.”

Mario Gonzalez formed Mariachi Viva Mexico NC eight years ago when he moved to Raleigh from Los Angeles. He saw a need for another mariachi in the area, to play at parties, restaurants and events.

“The customers have serviced us, the work, the demand is there,” Gonzalez said in Spanish. “It’s great that here in Raleigh, North Carolina, the presence of Hispanics is increasing, Mexicans, people from all over Latin America.

More and more Latinos are also buying homes in the Triangle.

Latinos are leading the way to homeownership nationwide and in central North Carolina

A report shows that the Durham-Chapel Hill market is the nation’s number one for the fastest growing rate of Hispanic homebuyers.

Otto Cedeno founded Movil Realty in Durham after leaving New Jersey. He lived in Ecuador until the age of 14.

“We started with 7-10 agents in 2015,” Cedeno said. “Now we have over 100 of them.”

“We started as a Latino business, and we still serve the Latino market, maybe 60% of our consumers are Latinos,” he said.

Movil agents receive training on how to do business with the Hispanic market.

“I think Latino shoppers are the future of America, so they need to know the culture and how to approach this market,” Cedeno said. “We represent 26 and more countries. It is not just one country in particular, because it is very important to understand that we have different food, different culture, different dialects.”

Alvarez and Cedeno are proud to have made their home in North Carolina.

“North Carolina has given me a lot,” Alvarez said. “I was able to grow as an entrepreneur. So it’s very nice to be able to contribute, not only by… paying… taxes, but also by giving jobs to people in the community. “

“You can make money, but you can also help a lot of people, while also achieving your success as a real estate agent,” Cedeno said. “So I’m here trying to help as many people as possible and trying to learn as much as possible from the South.”

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