New York City is famous for its Puerto Rican population and although Philadelphia doesn’t come near to matching it, the city boasts its own district in Kensington. Of course, not all of the area’s residents have a Puerto Rican heritage, but the Hispanic population is well represented there. Kensington’s decline with the fall of Philadelphia’s industrial sector did not leave the area in great shape, and immigrants have found their own problems adjusting to the city.
But, as a testament to their compañerismo, organizations like the Spanish Merchants Association have sprung up to help them out. The Association began by helping businessmen, but quickly expanded to offer private programs to help the community. The SMA closed its doors in 1986, but it inspired other groups, like the Hispanic Association of Contractors and Enterprises (HACE), to take its place.
The Historical Society has its full records, so you can drop by and take a look at its legacy for yourself.