La Villa Hispana

Clark Fulton/La Villa Hispana neighborhoodBob PerkoskiClark Fulton/La Villa Hispana neighborhood

A vision 35 years in the making is hitting critical mass as the community of La Villa Hispana takes shape with a renewed sense of community and a flurry of new development. Long known to Greater Clevelanders as Clark-Fulton, Cleveland's near west side has long played home to the state’s largest concentration of Hispanic residents—but is now branding itself with the identity to match.

FreshWater Cleveland will have a unique vantage point from which to follow the neighborhood's progress as we embark on a 12-week On the Ground reporting initiative covering La Villa Hispana. Long-time FreshWater contributor Mark Oprea is acting as lead writer, keeping "office hours" at Las Tienditas del Mercado and reporting from within the neighborhood.

The La Villa Hispana community reporting project is being made possible by partnerships with Dollar Bank, Hispanic Business Center, Esperanza Inc., Greater Cleveland Partnership, Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, and Cleveland Development Advisors.

Filling a need: Resource closets provide basic supplies and food to struggling Clevelanders
Too many Clevelanders, especially those living in the city's predominantly Black and underserved neighborhoods, struggle to make ends meet as a result of unemployment and underemployment. Many area organizations are working hard to meet the needs of people. Three Cleveland organizations are taking grassroots, creative approaches to supplying basic resources.
Working together: OhioMeansJobs, Dave’s Markets team up to help residents find jobs, get training
OhioMeansJobsǀCleveland-Cuyahoga County has partnered with Dave’s Markets to hold Community Outreach events in Dave’s stores throughout October to help job seekers find training and employment. Find out where to catch the events here.
The Creative Cafe prepares to open its doors in Old Brooklyn
Will Sanchez hasn’t been able to reopen the doors to his vibrant Clark-Fulton art gallery, La Cosecha Galeria, in nearly a year— but that’s not stopping this long-time local artist. Instead, Sanchez is doubling down and opening a new gallery space in Old Brooklyn, replete with a café and retail component.
Cleveland is the nation's least connected city. This Bolivian transplant wants to change that.
Rolando Alvarez is kicking down doors to the knowledge of the world—the Internet. After working to bring high-speed Internet to rural villages in his native Bolivia, Alvarez's mission now is to connect more than 27,000 households around Cleveland in tandem with DigitalC.
Making it count: Community groups get creative in collecting census data during a pandemic
Cleveland is lagging in responses to the 2020 U.S. Census, so community groups are taking some creative measures to encourage traditionally hard-to-reach groups to be counted—and it's working.
Renovated history: Couple brings new life to a forgotten Daisy Avenue home
Michael Sanbury, a self-proclaimed historical renovation fanatic, knew when he saw the abandoned turn-of-the-century house on Daisy Avenue that it was the right home. After nearly two years of restorations, Sanbury and his wife, Bridget, own the pride of Daisy Avenue in the Clark-Fulton neighborhood.
Now that's fresh: Cleveland Fresh to set up shop in the Tremont West incubator
In just over two years, Tanisha Velez grew her fascination with microgreens into a budding business in Tremont's storefront incubator program.
Kindred care: Congolese refugee community takes care of its own, and others, during COVID-19
From cooking pots and cleaning supplies to groceries, the large Congolese refugee community living in Cleveland ensures everyone in their neighborhoods are cared for during the COVID-19 pandemic.
New gallery owners are moved by the spirit of the Hildebrandt Building in La Villa Hispana
Abattoir Gallery is opening in a refurbished space inside a former sausage factory in La Villa Hispana.
LatinUS Theater speaks Clark-Fulton’s language — literally
LatinUS Theater, Ohio’s first independent Latino theater company, is staging their fifth Spanish-language production this month and plans to open in their own space next year in Cleveland’s Clark-Fulton neighborhood.
PRE4CLE makes preschool a priority in Cleveland
PRE4CLE is all about preparing preschoolers for kindergarten, which studies show pays dividends down the road. As the organization reaches the five-year mark, it has much to celebrate but also decisions to make about where to go next.
The future of La Villa Hispana: These 5 projects are set to transform the Clark-Fulton neighborhood
Change is coming to Clark-Fulton, in no small part due to these five energizing new projects.
CAC, ioby collaboration raises money for grassroots artistic endeavors
You can't get much closer to home than people's backyards. Cuyahoga Arts & Culture is teaming up with ioby Cleveland (in our backyards) to raise matching funds that support innovative artists.
No McMansions on his watch: How Esbeey Madera is preserving the homes of La Villa Hispana
Throughout his childhood, Esbeey Madera lived in three different houses on Cleveland’s Near West Side—on Seymour Avenue, Brainard Avenue, and Bridge Avenue. None of those houses are still standing.
La Villa Hispana's newly formed Colectivo network is helping local Latinx artists shine
With the help of a $50,000 Cuyahoga Arts & Culture grant, the Hispanic Business Center is helping Latinx artists get more exposure, increase their reach, and receive business development support via the new Artist Colectivo network.
VIDEO: A Taste of La Villa Hispana
As La Villa Hispana continues to crystallize as a cultural hub, the neighborhood is amplifying the sounds, sights, and smells that make it so special—and events like La Placita and new spots like Las Tienditas are enticing all of Greater Cleveland to experience them.
Clark-Fulton is a known food desert. Can new health initiatives change the way a neighborhood eats?
Hispanic Americans are almost twice as likely to be diagnosed with diabetes than non-Hispanic whites, a fact that doesn't escape residents of Clark-Fulton—home to Cleveland's largest Hispanic/Latino population. Meet the changemakers working toward prevention and healthier eating options for the neighborhood.
Safety first: How Hispanic police officers and residents are ensuring a safer Clark-Fulton
Meet the local heroes working to restore a sense of safety in the Clark-Fulton neighborhood.
These English fluency & GED programs are helping La Villa Hispana residents find higher-paying jobs
When Spanish-American Committee executive director Ramonita Vargas submitted 25 nursing candidates to a major medical institution for hiring consideration, she felt positive about their prospects—but was dismayed when all 25 were turned away “because their English wasn’t perfect.”
Las Tienditas welcomes the flavors of Southern Puerto Rico in its latest grand opening
Jean Garcia and Xaidy Rodriguez aren’t like other siblings their age.

For one, they’re both bilingual transplants native to Ponce, Puerto Rico, a small city of 145,000 on the southern part of the island. At 19 and 15 respectfully, Garcia and sister Rodriguez helm one of the youngest restaurant startups to open on Cleveland’s West Side, well, in ages.