Owner, Mil Mundos
Jul 13, 2021
Mil Mundos—a café, community center and Bushwick’s first bilingual bookstore—began as an idea in 2018 when encroaching gentrification in the neighborhood prompted Maria Herron to create a new sort of space. One that could cater to the locals who had been there for generations, and invite them in to hold conversations about Black, Latinx and indigenous heritage. It’s collectively run by a group of six who reflect that diversity.
More than half—55 percent—of Bushwick’s population is Hispanic, and the school district is made up of 56 percent Latinx students. But, Herron tells Brooklyn Magazine, “Nobody ever considers the Spanish-speaking population when opening a new business here.”
Herron works with schools in the district to provide field trip programming, charging $15 a student—a price that includes a trip and a book. (One elementary school Mil Mundos worked with had only taken one school trip the year before—to a police precinct.) During the pandemic, Mil Mundos became a mutual aid depot for the local community, too, accepting and distributing essential items to families in need in the Bushwick area.