A taste of Mexico

Families from across Illinois gathered in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood this weekend for the fourth annual Taste of Mexico festival.

Families from across Illinois gathered in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood this weekend for the fourth annual Taste of Mexico festival. The celebration featured food from nearly 20 local restaurants and a full lineup of bands, dancers, and DJs. Little Village is home to the largest Mexican community in the Midwest.

Borderless spoke to some of the festivalgoers about what Little Village means to them.

“I moved to Little Village because everything is so full of life here and I wanted to be near that energy,” said Gloria Baldomero, 34. Pictured here are her husband and son at the Taste of Little Village on June 3, 2018, in Chicago. Photo by Michelle Kanaar
“I’m always drawn to Little Village because it feels like family here,” said Griselda Diaz, 38, pictured with her daughter, Alexis Munoz, 13. Photo by Michelle Kanaar
“Little Village feels actually like a small village. People are so welcoming and friendly here. Everyone says, ‘Hi’. I come to this neighborhood like once a week,” said Vanessa Campbell, 37, pictured with her two kids and her husband. Photo by Michelle Kanaar
“Everything you need you can get in Little Village. It’s just beautiful to me. It’s diverse, too. You can get so many different types of Mexican foods here in the neighborhood,” said Obdulia Salgado, 46, pictured with Bryan Gonzalez, 5, Kevin Degante, 9, and Modesto Degante. Photo by Michelle Kanaar
“We come to Little Village usually to buy birthday cakes, and then for all the delicious foods you can find here. It’s about tradition for us. I grew up in Mexico and spent half my life there, but Little Village reminds me of Mexico. It’s different than Mexico though. It’s never the same,” said Hector Zadula, 47, pictured with his family. Photo by Michelle Kanaar
“I’m drawn to the diversity you can find in this neighborhood. It’s full of life here,” said Alejandra Romero, 40, pictured with Leo Mordis, 39, and their two daughters. Photo by Michelle Kanaar
“I love Little Village because it brings people from all over the Midwest. This is as close as you are going to get to Mexico. But people hear ‘26th Street’ and they immediately think it’s gang related in their minds. It’s a misconception that people have about our neighborhood,” said Yander Reyes, 22, pictured with Marlynn Tores, 21. Photo by Michelle Kanaar
“I love the discount mall in Little Village. It’s where I got my prom dress. I’m always drawn to the shopping here but also the culture,” said Aliyah Garcia, 19. “Little Village just feels different than the rest of Chicago. Other neighborhoods don’t feel like family like the way it does here. Whenever I come to this festival, I feel like I’m in Mexico again,” added Carlos Lira, 19. Photo by Michelle Kanaar
“We feel comfortable here. We drove all the way from Bloomington-Normal for this festival. Even though we don’t live in Little Village, it feels like we do whenever we come to visit. We make the drive just to spend the weekend walking around the neighborhood and shopping. It doesn’t feel like the rest of the city. It really feels like Mexico here,” said Jazmin Rojas, 18, pictured with Gizelle Rojas, 11, Jazmin Rojas, 18, Maria Rivera, Lorena Rivera, and Jose Rivera. Photo by Michelle Kanaar