Mexican American populations are highly represented in the Chicagoland area. Mexican Americans come from differing parts of Mexico (Rodolfo and Quiroz). However, a majority of the Mexico American population in Chicago originate from eight specific states in Mexico: 1.
State of Mexico
Zacatecas (Rodolfo and Quiroz).
Mexican Americans have a significant presence and influence within Chicago's political, educational, economic, and religious structures. There are predominantly Mexican American communities in Chicago:
Berwyn and Cicero
Back of the Yards" (Rodolfo and Quiroz).
Community focus within this paper will be drawn from my observations and research gathered in an area called "Little Village". According to the helpful staff at Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum "Little Village" has no set boundaries by the city of Chicago but the community considered invisible boundaries that extended Halsted to Western 17th to 26th Street. Population Statistics
Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum is located in the Pilsen area of Chicago with a display regarding Mexicans in Chicago that highlights that Mexicans have been a large part of the Midwestern life. According to the article Top 10 Cities for Hispanics to Live In, Chicago is ranked at the number 10 spot for Hispanics. Author Hugo Martin stated, "Hispanics the city's fastest growing ethnic group are now a force, representing 26 percent of Chicago 2.9 million people." The statistics reported in the latest Chicago newspapers regarding Hispanics are reflected in the U.S. Census Bureau findings and corroborate the growth of Mexican Americans within Chicago and general growth of this nationality. Mexican Americans are the largest subgroups of Hispanics in the U.S. (Mexican Americans). A reliable source of population statistics provided by the U.S. Census Bureau interchangeable used Hispanics and Latinos as one group (Ramirez, Cruz). According to the U.S. Census Bureau of March 2002, people of Hispanic origin can report their origin as Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central and South American or some Latino origin (Ramirez and Cruz).
According to the U.S. Census Bureau "The Hispanic Population in the United States 2002", there are 37.4 million Latinos and 66.9 percent of the Hispanic populations are Mexican origin (Ramirez and Cruz). Data derived from the 2000 U.S. Census Bureau Statistics revealed that 753,644 persons of Latino origin reside in Chicago (FEDSTATS). Although as of November 2005 the Chicago Tribune reported that more Latinos are in Chicago suburbs causing a 1 percent drop of Latinos in the city of Chicago averaging 746,000 (Olivo, et al). To gain insight on the potential for increased growth within the Mexican American neighborhoods recent statistics shed light by citing that Mexican Americans have the highest proportion of people under age 18 (The Hispanic Population in the United States: March 2002). The Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum regarding Mexicans in Chicago, predicted that before the U.S. 2010 Census Mexicans will become the largest cultural group in the city of Chicago.
Hispanic Americans have created lively neighborhoods busy stores, cultural museums and atmospheric restaurants that celebrate their culture and create economic growth for the city of Chicago (Hugo). Mexican Americans economic contributions to the city of Chicago are particularly apparent in an area referred to as "Little Village" or "La Villita". Observing this particular area you cannot help but to become drawn to the active flourishing business; supermarkets featuring English/Spanish signs with aromatic Mexican spices, vibrant fresh fruits, accessible restaurants with authentic Mexican flavor, discount clothing/furniture stores. The retail markets in "Little Village" rival many other ethnic communities with value...
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Little Village Chamber of Commerce. LVCC News/Events Web page. 13 Nov. 2005.
Lynch, LaRisa. "Mexican Ambassador Address PUSH Confab" Chicago Weekend. 35.23
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