Cubans/Latin Community, Miami
Living in Texas, there is a large Spanish-speaking primarily Mexican population. When I arrived in Miami, it was no surprise to me that many people spoke Spanish. What did surprise me, is the fact that even though there are cultural differences within the Miami population (as well as south Florida), they were mixed. Many of the people who spoke Spanish, also spoke English; and visa-versa. Also, many Americans were visiting the Latin-American cuisines, and also visa-versa. It was the best thing I had ever seen, where everyone seemed to be on the same level! The mentality I felt, was that no one was better or worse off than anyone else.
Cubans are big into mixing flavors.
Cuban food, contrary to many a tourist's expectation is not HOT spicey as many a Mexican food is. Quite the contrary, most Cubans have a very low tolerance for anything spicey.
Flavors instead, center on Caribbeean tastes blending Lime/Garlic/Onion/Cilantro/and Olive Oil to give food a refreshingly and unique flavor.
Meats are marinated before being fried, baked or broiled and are usually accompanied by a couple of starch dishes and another protein - beans.
Another curious food trait of the Cubans is our like for mixing combinations of sweet and salty together such as fried sweet plantains with steak and rice/beans or Sweet fruit filled pastries with our buttered bread in the mornings.
Try the combination, you will enjoy!
The Cuban community is very large in Miami, as it's the closest major U.S. centre to the island country.
Little Havana is a nice place to wander through in an afternoon (visit a cigar shop, as some of them will let you watch the process).
There's an interesting Brigade 2506 Memorial, betwwen 12th & 13th Avenues, dedicated to the 'Martyrs Of the Bay Of Pigs invasion' of April 17, 1961, just off the main street, and there's a Cuban Walk of Fame (a copy of the one in Hollywood) called the 'Stars of Calle Ocho' for Cuban celebrities - find it beginning at SW 8th St. (best known as Calle Ocho) & SW 17th Ave. (known as Teddy Roosevelt Ave.).
**See the website http://cuban-exile.com/doc_201-225/doc0218.htm for a list of official/alternate street names if you're going to visit the area.
It may seem odd, but a walk through this quiet area of Miami can be quite relaxing - presumably, when a holiday or festival is on, the area is alive with activity, but in mid-February, things were quiet & subdued, and provided me an enjoyable rollerblading afternoon.