Hispanic Communities

November 29, 2007 3:02:41 PM PST
In Chicago there are three major commercial corridors pumping blood into Chicago's Hispanic communities: 18th Street in Pilsen, 26th Street in Little Village, and Division Street in Humboldt Park. In the suburbs, Latinos now make up over one in 10 residents. The city of Elgin's population is now 1/3 Hispanic and growing. It is in these neighborhoods that Hispanic business leaders are working to strike a balance between preserving the ethnic image of their communities and attracting more tourists and their dollars. Theresa Gutierrez hosts this half-hour special that also features ABC7 personalities John Garcia and Stacey Baca.

Pilsen - Once a gateway for Czechs and other ethnic immigrants in earlier eras, Pilsen has been a stronghold for Mexicans since the early 1960s. It is the oldest of the half-dozen or so Mexican enclaves scattered across Chicago, where one in six residents, or about a half-million people, trace their roots to Mexico. 18th Street is packed with some 300 businesses. Most of these cater to the Hispanics of the neighborhood, but lately, more non-traditional businesses are popping up such as Bom Bon Bakery and Café Jumping Bean. ABC7's Theresa Gutierrez brings us to this lively community.

For More Info:

David Betlejewski, Executive Director
Eighteenth Street Development Corporation
1843 S. Carpenter
Chicago, IL 60608
Phone: 312.733.2286
Email: ESDC1843@aol.com

Hiroshi Nakano, Owner
La Joya Drugs, Inc.
1801 S. Ashland Av.
Chicago, IL 60608
Phone: 312.226.0330
Email: nlajoyadrug@aol.com

Luis Parea & Laura Cid, Owners
Bom Bon Bakery
1508 W. 18th St.
Chicago, IL 60608
Phone: 312.733.7788

Humboldt Park - ABC7's Stacey Baca explores Humboldt Park's main strip--Division Street. The section between Western and California is now referred to as Paseo Boricua or Puerto Rican Town. Over the past 10 years several new businesses have opened in this once desolate stretch of Division. Community leaders hope to transform this section of Division into a cultural entertainment and restaurant district.

For More Info:

Enrique Salgado, Executive Director
Division Street Business Development Association
2649 W. Division St.
Chicago, IL 60622
Phone: 773.782.0454

Alberto Vazquez, Owner
YGO Salon
2508 W. Division St.
Chicago, IL 60622
Phone: 773.227.2508
Web: http://www.ygosalon.com

Wanda Colon, Owner
Café Colao
2638 W. Division St.
Chicago, IL 60622
Phone: 773.276.1780

Juan Rivera, Executive Director
3541 W. North Av.
Chicago, IL 60647
Phone: 773.276.5338
Email: lucha@lucha.org


More than one of every four people in Elgin is Hispanic. The downtown of this diverse city is also experiencing revitalization. There are many family owned Hispanic businesses and one of Elgin's largest employers, the Grand Victoria Casino, has a staff consisting of 25% Hispanics, many of whom are in management roles. ABC7's Theresa Gutierrez shows us this thriving suburb.

For More Info:

Grand Victoria Casino
250 S. Grove Av.
Elgin, IL 60120
Phone: 847.468.7000

Gil Feliciano, Hispanic Outreach Coordinator
City of Elgin
150 Dexter Ct.
Elgin, IL 60120
Phone: 847.931.6019
Web: www.cityofelgin.org

Norma Miess, Executive Director
Elgin Downtown Neighborhood
2 Douglas Av.
Elgin, IL 60120
Phone: 847.488.1456
Web: www.elginil.org

Joey Diaz, Manager
La Puesta Del Sol
165 E. Highland
Elgin, IL 60120
Phone: 847.468.1416

Little Village

ABC7's Joh Garcia brings us to Little Village. It is a thriving commercial area in Chicago's West Side with more than 1,000 businesses. The heart of this community is 26th street. This shopping district is only second to Michigan Avenue in the amount sales revenue it generates. Little Village is 95% Mexican and combined with Pilsen it makes up the largest Mexican community in the Midwest and the largest urban Mexican community after East Los Angeles.

For More Info:

Roberto A. Cornelio, Executive Director
Little Village Chamber of Commerce
3610 W. 26th St.
Chicago, IL 60623
Phone: 773.521.5387
Web: www.lavillitachamber.com

Alejandro Castro, General Manager
La Guadalupana Supermarket
3215 W. 26th Street
Phone: 773.847.3191
Web: www.senortamale.com

Dan Arce, General Manager
Tropical Optical
3624 W. 26th Street
Chicago, IL 60623
Phone: 773.762.5662

Nancy Nuñez, Owner
Mi Tierra (Restaurante Mexicano)
2528 S. Kedzie
Chicago, IL 60623
Phone: 773.254.7722

Jesus G. Garcia, Executive Director
Little Village Community Development Corporation
2756 S. Harding Av.
Chicago, IL 60623
Phone: 773.542.9233
Email: lvcdc1@ameritech.net

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