Little Village Hosts Many Mexican Traditions

Little Village
Little Village
Courtesy of EvelynGiggles (Flickr CC0)

Mexican Treats In Little Village

A big part of the Mexican’s Little Village tradition is food. Everyone knows that Little Village is home to the best food in North Lawndale. Every Mexican-style dish that you can think of is located here including the new Churro location on 26th street.

Aldo Rios is the owner of the new churro shop. He says that everyone’s perception of a perfect churro is not what they think. Rios does not stuff his churros. Instead, he makes them traditionally. All of his sauces and toppings are homemade, adding a sense of uniqueness.

Rios came up with his recipe and set up his deep fryer on the sidewalk. It was then that he discovered that many residents in Little Village are native to this old way of making churros. He claims that many people went up to him in surprise saying “Is that really how you make a Churro.” Since then Rios has catered for private events. Everyone loved his treats which put him on the map.

Aldo Rios

Rios spent his whole professional career working in kitchens until launching El Churro Shop, 3536 W. 26th St., in July. Rios had always been short on time, but in 2020 when the pandemic shutdowns led to a reduction in his hours, he suddenly had it. This allowed him to open up a business. His ideas for the neighborhood do not just involve churros.

When driving down 26th street with his wife he noticed that there was no place to get coffee. Rios says there was no place to grab a coffee and hang out. He hopes to accomplish this by creating a safe place in the community. His goal is to make a place where people can come to grab a hot beverage, a churro, and relax.

Rios says that there are a lot of opportunities for business in Little Village. All he wants to do is leave a mark on the community.

Día De Los Muertos In Chicago

Another Mexican tradition is celebrating the day of the dead.

The month of October is allowing others to express their heritage. Journey Chicago is a series of events that takes place in cultural heritage centers across the city.

One of these is a two-day workshop where participants create Calaveras, the decorated sugar skulls that adorn ofrendas on Día de Los Muertos, offered by Little

Little Village
Courtesy of Eric Hunsaker (Flickr CC0)

Village’s OPEN Center for the Arts in partnership with Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art. They take part in Open House Chicago that weekend as well.

Omar Magaña, OPEN Center’s founder says “The neighborhood is wonderful, according to a lot of what people have to say about it or how they picture it. Every amenity found in every other neighborhood is present, and we are here to offer the art.”

Importance of Culture

The organizers want to bring Mexican culture to Chicago

Los Calaveras is one of our customs that we perform each year to honor people who have passed away but who mean a lot to us, Magana said. “We want people to understand our traditions,” he said.

Everyone is welcome to join the two-day event, which is free. The paper Calaveras will be made during the class on Saturday, and the sugar skulls will be decorated during the session on Sunday.

If you are interested in expressing your culture through these creative workshops sign up. Little Village needs you all.

Written by Esteban Ruiz


WTTW: Learn to Make Calaveras, the Decorated Sugar Skulls for Día de Los Muertos, in Little Village on Oct. 15-16

WTTW: El Churro Shop Makes Old Traditions New on 26th Street in Little Village

Top and Featured Image Courtesy of EvelynGiggles‘s  Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Eric Hunsaker‘s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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