Culture

20 Reasons Chicago Is Home To So Many Latinos

Guys, Chicagoan Latinos are booming. We’ve officially become the largest minority group in the city of Chicago. Some of the iconic Mexican or Puerto Rican neighborhoods, however, are suffering from gentrification. While the Latino population is growing, Pilsen and Humboldt have lost 30,000 Latinos.

So here’s mitú’s guide to why Chicago is home.

1. Chicago is the #3 hub for Latino Americans. (read: it’s lit)

CREDIT: @ymeffect / Instagram

There are more than 1.9 million Latinos in the Chicago area, and 1 in 5 Chicagoans are Latino, ay oh! Basically, it’s one giant family reunion.

2. They’re ? living their best life. ?

CREDIT: @BallerzWorld / Twitter

The average household income for Chicago Latinos is $42,000 and more than half are homeowners. Coming to you live from Los Angeles, and not holding my breath to ever own a home.

3. The vast majority of Chicago Latinos are Mexicano.

CREDIT: @maxblasquez / Instagram

Of all Chicago Latinos, the three largest groups of origin are Mexican (79.2 percent), Puerto Rican (9.6 percent) and Guatemalan (2.1 percent.) Prepare yourself for all the food.

4. “La Villita” is the Mexican neighborhood of Chicago.

CREDIT: @velvette.21 / Instagram

There are so many neighborhoods that are hella Latino in Chicago, but Little Village is nicknamed the “Mexico of the Midwest,” and you don’t have to go far for proof. Behold.

5. The streets are covered in murals like this one.

CREDIT: @chicago.street.art_.tour / Instagram

The National Museum of Mexican Arts helped bring us the Pilsen Murals, which range from glass tile mosaics, to graffiti art and enormous depictions of Frida Kahlo. You get to see the neighborhood’s renown artists as you stroll through.

6. The art at the National Museum of Mexican Arts is on point.

CREDIT: @bry_gonz / Instagram

The community in Little Village truly is alive with Mexican arts of the past and present. What do you think this one means? The artist is hush hush.

7. Even the restaurants in Chicago are beloved for it’s wall art.

CREDIT: @bfrobertson / Instagram

Lincoln Square’s Los Nopales Authentic Mexican Restaurant has been open since 2005, and has been thee spot to bring your family of 12, and never run low on margaritas. Plus, their tilapia tacos are Chicago-famous.

8. Mexican food has been served here since 1962.

CREDIT: @felixmaldonadoflex / Instagram

Nuevo Leon Restaurant is an iconic landmark in the Pilsen neighborhood and probably the most popular restaurant there. They’re most well known for their Filete Nuevo Leon, which is a New York style steak dish.

9. You can find almost any dish here.

CREDIT: @a_haeussler / Instagram

For a taste of Colombian food (remember, this is the Midwest), go to Las Tablas. They’re famous for their skirt steak, plantains and empanadas.

10. Want Puerto Rican food?

CREDIT: @maystcafe / Instagram

May St Café offers Mexican food inspired by Puerto Rican and Cuban Caribbean flavors. They offer brie and pear quesadillas alongside burgers with chipotle ketchup. Plus, they often have a DJ and that patio is bumpin’ with merengue moves.

11. Humboldt Park is the home of “Little Puerto Rico.”

CREDIT: @michelavk / Instagram

The city erected a pair of enormous, 60′ high Puerto Rican flags in “Paseo Boricua” in 1995. Boricua pride runs deep in this community, so when the wind is freezing you to your bones, you’ll still feel like home.

12. And it’s got it’s own public works art project.

CREDIT: @nataliaboa / Instagram

Notice anything familiar about this mural?

Hint: it’s the giant metal, Puerto Rican flag waving in the background. That’s Chicago for you. :’)

13. Plus, dessert is served daily in Chicago.

CREDIT: @peeyuka / Instagram

Kristoffer’s Café & Bakery is the drool-worthy destination for Tres Leches. They actually distribute them to other stores and Mexican restaurants, they’re that popular.

14. Chicago is home to the world’s largest free outdoor food festival, called the Taste of Chicago.

CREDIT: @kukunfood / Instagram

Truth: Chicagoans love their food. You know there’s going to be avocado art there. There is no escape, gracias a Dios.

15. Randomly, Chicago River is the only river in the world to flow backwards.

CREDIT: @ronhartley99 / Instagram

And on St. Patrick’s day, they dye the whole river green. It’s a strange town, you guys, but some call it home.

16. Barack Obama is a major part of Chicago.

CREDIT: @windycitywonders / Instagram

Remember when we had DACA? And a friendly relationship with Mexico? And no “border wall”? *cry*

17. An average of 35 million visitors flock to Chicago each year.

CREDIT: @l.westphoto / Instagram

People come for the food, but they all come to The Bean, formally known as Cloud Gate. The City of Chicago opened up a design competition that Sir Anish Kapoor won. It was completed in 2006 and is made up of 168 stainless steel plates!

18. Chicago has 15 miles of bathing beaches.

CREDIT: @dianarely28 / Instagram

It’s no wonder so many of us live here. We’re here for the food and we’re here for the beaches. I have no idea where we go during the 6 months of windy winters.

19. In 1924, the first gay rights group in the U.S. was created in Chicago.

CREDIT: @pridefestchicago / Instagram

Henry Gerber, a German immigrant, moved to Chicago and was shocked at how LGBTQ+ people were treated. He was even committed to a mental institution because of his sexual orientation. The very first gay rights group in the U.S., “The Society for Human Rights” was disbanded in 1925 after they were all arrested, but the members just moved to other parts of the country and started their own advocacy groups.

Last year, Chicago Pride had over 1,000,000 people in attendance. :’)

20. Chicago was technically the birthplace of soap operas.

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. MyLifetime.com. 30 April 2018.

Created by Irna Phillips, later known as “Queen of the Soaps”, “These Are My Children” was the very first daytime soap opera on air in the U.S. The show only aired for 24 days before being cancelled, but it paved a path, and proves that Latinos have a permanent home in Chicago.

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Chicago’s Mi Tocaya Is Offering Up Free Mexican Homemeals For Undocumented Community

Culture

Chicago’s Mi Tocaya Is Offering Up Free Mexican Homemeals For Undocumented Community

mitocaya / Instagram

Undocumented communities are being left out of Covid relief plans. Chef Diana Dávila of Mi Tocaya in Chicago is working to help undocumented restaurant worker in the time of Covid. Abuse of undocumented workers is rampant in certain industries and Chef Dávila hopes to offer some kind of help.

Mi Tocaya is a Mexican restaurant in Chicago’s Logan Square that wants to help the community.

Covid-19 has devastated the hospitality industry with restaurants being hit exceptionally hard. Restaurants have been forced to close their doors for good as the virus dragged on with no decent relief plan from the federal government. As several countries financially support citizens to avoid economic disaster, the U.S. government has given citizens $1,800 total to cover 10 months of isolating and business closures.

Namely, Mi Tocaya is working to help the undocumented community.

Mi Tocaya, a family-run restaurant, is teaming up with Chicago’s Top Chefs and local non-profits Dishroulette Kitchen and Logan Square Neighborhood Association. The goal is to highlight the issues facing the undocumented community during the pandemic.

The initiative called Todos Ponen, is all about uplifting members of our community in a time of severe need. The restaurant is creating healthy Mexican family meals for those in need.

”We asked ourselves; How can we keep our doors open, provide a true service to the community, maintain and create jobs, and keep the supply chain intact by supporting local farmers and vendors. This is the answer,” Chef Dávila said in a statement. “I confidently believe The TODOS PONEN Logan Square Project addresses all of the above and can very well be easily implemented in any community. Our goal is to bring awareness to the lack of resources available to the undocumented workforce- the backbone of our industry.”

The initiative starts in February.

Mi Tocaya is offering 1000 free meals for local farmers and undocumented restaurant workers. The meals are available for pickup Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 2800 W Logan Blvd, Chicago, IL 60647. to make this happen, Mi Tocaya also needs your help.

The restaurant has teamed up with two nonprofits to make sure that they can scale their operation to fulfill their commitment. They are also asking for donations to make sure they can do what they can to help undocumented restaurant workers.

According to Eater LA, 8 million restaurant workers have been laid off since the pandemic started. Some restaurants have had to lay off up to 91 percent of their staff because of Covid, about 10 percent of those are undocumented. In the cities, that number is as high as 40 percent of the laid-off restaurant staff are undocumented.

“People don’t want to talk about the undocumented workforce, but they’re part of our daily routine in most restaurants,” Jackson Flores, who manages the operations of Mi Tocaya, said in a statement. “They are in the toughest position in the whole economy because they’re an invisible part of it. Restaurant worker advocacy groups have added the creation of relief funds to their agendas, but there have yet to be long-term changes in protections for undocumented workers. Without access to unemployment benefits and other government resources, this group is especially vulnerable.”

READ: Hands-Free Cholula Dispensers Have Become a Thing In Restaurants Because of COVID-19

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Family Sets Up GoFundMe To Help Paletero In Chicago Retire

Things That Matter

Family Sets Up GoFundMe To Help Paletero In Chicago Retire

Michaelangelo Mosqueda / GoFundMe

Every now and then there is a video or some news that bubbles up through the noise that makes you feel good. There’s another one of those stories coming out of Chicago thanks to a family helping a local paletero.

A viral video shows a family buying a paletero’s entire cooler of paletas.

The family wanted to help the paletero finish his work for the day because it was Father’s Day. After buying him out, the family decided to go one further for the older mand and set up a GoFundMe to help him retire for the life of selling paletas. Don Rosario, the paletero in the video, is 70 years old and is a staple of the East Side community in Chicago.

A GoFundMe for his retirement is raising a lot of money to help him out.

Selling paletas is exhausting work. Walking around all day long in the heat while trying to sell paletas is a demanding job. This family is taking it on themselves to help Rosario finally retire from the work so he can rest and enjoy his golden years.

There was so much love for Rosario that the fundraiser had to be closed and then reopened.

The family who set up the GoFundMe closed the fundraiser at one point, according to an update. This is because they were waiting to get his contact info and the fundraiser has exploded to more than $40,000. Then, after getting the info and enough interest to keep donating, the fundraiser was reopened. If you want to add to Rosario’s growing pot, you can click here.

The act of kindness that started on Father’s Day is still going and giving people hope.

These are dark times. We are still battling a virus. The U.S. is being forced to finally confront centuries of racial inequality. There are so many things happening that can make us mad. However, stories like these remind us that there is still so much good happening out there.

This is a ray of light in a world that is often so confusing right now.

“We’ve been left speechless, there were people from all over the states donating,” Michaelangelo Mosqueda, the GoFundMe creator, told Block Club Chicago. “It has been really eye-opening to see that when we all come together we do some great things for others.”

READ: Starbucks Barista Who Told A Karen To Wear A Mask Receives More Than $49k In Tips

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