Mapping Philly’s Latino communities: People and places to know along SEPTA’s 47 bus line

Visit the people and places that shape their neighborhoods and communities as told through PlanPhilly’s The 47: Historias along a bus route series.

A SEPTA bus travels down a street in Philadelphia

File photo: A SEPTA bus travels down a street in Philadelphia. (Bernardo Morillo for WHYY)

SEPTA’s Route 47 bus connects many of the city’s Latino communities, from South to North Philadelphia. Taking people between their homes and the places where they learn, work, find joy, and find love, the 10-mile transit line serves as a lifeline for neighborhoods shaped by a growing population of Spanish-speaking Philadelphians.

The 47: Historias along a bus route series represents one fraction of the people who rely on and are connected to the bus route. From immigrant mothers working together to support their families to high school students expressing themselves through photography to small business owners serving their communities, the series captures the vast diversity within Philadelphia as a city and within its Latino communities.

The map below displays a location along the route that represents each person who entrusted us with their story. Each point on the map represents a special place in the city treasured by the people who know it and important to Philadelphia as Spanish-speaking communities continue to grow and thrive here, creating new businesses, art and cultural traditions.

Use the forward button to take a tour of the places we’ve been and the people we’ve met, like Luis Uribe, a soccer coach in South Philly who brings families together through the sport. Experience the beats and culture that thrive within Centro Musical on North 5th Street, all along the 47 bus route and hear about the life of a Puerto Rican doctor who has cared for his North Philadelphia community for decades.

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The 10-mile SEPTA bus route que conecta las comunidades latinas de Filadelfia

SEPTA’s 47 bus route travels from Whitman Plaza in South Philadelphia to Godfrey Avenue in North Philadelphia. | La ruta 47 de SEPTA viaja desde Whitman Plaza en el sur de Filadelfia hasta Godfrey Avenue en el norte de Filadelfia. (Bernardo Morillo for WHYY)

Most of Philadelphia’s Latino communities live along SEPTA’s 47 bus route. The busy line serves as a “pulse” for the community, says Rev. Adan Mairena, a Norris Square pastor.

Stop on the 47: Whitman Plaza


El sueño de Luis: A South Philly soccer coach is unifying the neighborhood through fútbol

Luis Uribe with members of the Los Lobos soccer league. Uribe has been leading the league for over ten years. | Luis Uribe con miembros de la liga de fútbol Los Lobos. Uribe lleva más de diez años al frente de la liga. (Eugenio Salas for WHYY)

As a child growing up in Mexico, Luis Uribe dreamt of a future playing fútbol. Decades later in Philadelphia, he uses the game to connect to his community in South Philly.

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Stop on the 47: 7th St and Federal St


How a young Boricua activista is building political power en Filadelfia

Philly Boricuas’s mission is to give voice to Philadelphia’s Puerto Rican community and amplify the voices of their families on the island. | La misión de Philly Boricuas es dar voz a la comunidad puertorriqueña de Filadelfia y amplificar las voces de sus familias en la isla. ( Eugenio Salas/WHYY)

Philly Boricuas is an organization seeking to build more power for Philadelphia’s Puerto Rican community — Puchi De Jesus is one of the activists fighting for more political involvement locally.

Stop on the 47: 5th St & Huntingdon St


From Virgen of Guadalupe to San Miguel Arcángel, this Mexican entrepreneur sells saints for all

Isabel poses with a figure of the Virgen de Guadalupe (Virgin Mary). Mexican Catholics are fervently devoted to the Virgen de Guadalupe and celebrate her birthday every December 12th. | Isabel posa con una figura de la Virgen de Guadalupe (Virgen María). Los católicos mexicanos están fervientemente devotos de la Virgen de Guadalupe y celebran su cumpleaños cada 12 de diciembre. (Eugenio Salas for WHYY)

Isabel Espinosa Sanchez of the San Miguel Arcángel shop keeps South Philadelphia prepared for religious rituals and celebrations like baptisms and first communions — and also protected from danger.

Stop on the 47: 7th St and Federal St


‘Música es parte de nuestra cultura’: How Philly’s Centro Musical shop focuses on salsa y comunidad

Centro Musical, located in the heart of El Bloque de Oro, is a music shop and gathering for Latinos in the community. | Centro Musical en el corazón de El Bloque de Oro, es una tienda de música y un encuentro para latinos en la comunidad. (Bernardo Morillo for WHYY)

West Kensington’s Centro Musical is more than a shop — it’s a place for Latinos to come together, play music and celebrate their culture.

Stop on the 47: 5th St & Lehigh Ave


En South Philly, three immigrant mothers came together to form una ‘bonita familia’

Marta and her daughter, Krishna, hug one another lovingly in their living room. Marta was only able to bring Krishna to the United States, leaving her two sons behind in Guatemala. | Marta y su hija, Krishna, se abrazan en su sala de estar. Marta solo pudo traer a Krishna a los Estados Unidos, dejando a sus dos hijos en Guatemala. (Tony Rocco/WHYY)

Women account for a growing share of Latin American immigrants settling in the U.S. In Philly, three mothers share resources to thrive in their new home.

Stop on the 47: 8th St and Ritner St


43 years after treating his first Philly patient, este médico sabe que la risa puede curar

Dr. Llera brings his own life experience to his work, along with humor and empathy. | El Dr. Lleras aporta su propia experiencia de vida a su trabajo, junto con el humor y la empatía. (Bernardo Morillo/Eugenio Salas/WHYY)

Dr. Llera uses his own experience coming from Puerto Rico to Philadelphia to help treat his patients at Maria de los Santos Health Center on Allegheny Avenue.

Stop on the 47: 5th St & Allegheny Ave


La Gua Gua 47: A salsa song compuesta por una latina poderosa, Alba Martínez

Taller Puertoriqueño was one of the places that connected Alba Martínez to Philly’s local Latino communities when she moved to the city from Puerto Rico. | Taller Puertoriqueño fue uno de los lugares que conectó a Alba Martínez con las comunidades latinas locales de Filadelfia cuando se mudó a la ciudad desde Puerto Rico. (Bernardo Morillo/WHYY)

La Gua Gua 47 — the 47 Bus — honors the summer day in 1985 when Alba Martínez rode SEPTA to the heartbeat of Philadelphia’s caribeña community.

Stop on the 47: 5th St & Huntingdon St


From bachata to barber shop: La historia de un emprendedor en Filadelfia

Raymon “La Salsa” Rincón inside of his shop, which he has owned since 2007. | Raymon “La Salsa” Rincón dentro de su tienda, de la que es propietario desde 2007. (Bernardo Morillo/WHYY)

Raymon Rincón owns two barber shops on North Fifth Street in Philadelphia. He is part of a strong community of business owners from the Dominican Republic.

Stop on the 47: 5th St & Wingohocking St


El Carnaval de Puebla en Filadelfia este año será virtual. David Piña wants you to see the alegría

A group wearing Zacapoaxtlas costumes from a previous Philadelphia celebration, representing the traditional Mexican defenders of Puebla. | Un grupo con trajes de Zacapoaxtlas de una celebración anterior en Filadelfia, representando a los tradicionales defensores mexicanos de Puebla. (Courtesy of Edgar Ramirez)

The Carnaval de Puebla tradition started by Philly’s Mexican community lived on this past year in a new and virtual way.

Stop on the 47: 7th St and Federal St


Para este abogado, immigration law is more than a profession — es un llamado

Steven Larín stands outside with his arms folded
Steven Larín, an attorney specializing in immigration and asylum issues, is the current deputy director at Nationalities Service Center in Philadelphia. | Steven Larín, abogado especializado en asuntos de inmigración y asilo, es el actual subdirector del Nationalities Service Center en Filadelfia. (Eugenio Salas/WHYY)

For lawyer Steven Larín, immigration is both global and personal. He helps families find refuge and asylum through his work at the Nationalities Service Center.

Stop on the 47: 9th Stand Cuthbert St

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