Pilsen Community Market returns for first time in months

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Pilsen Community Market returned this weekend for the first time in months.

Vendors spaced out on the plaza at 18th and Blue Island.

"I thought summer was gonna be all wasted for us, but I'm so glad that we're here," said Tlanez Xochitl Gonzalez, a vendor at the market.

Gonzalez said the market is one account for a big chunk of her Aztec designs business.

"This is where we meet all our customers. This is where all our sales are from. My sales all come from the big festivals," she said.

Organizer Esmia Garcia said that ruled her team's mission to reopen even as it still works out social distancing measures.

Especially with numerous Latina women-run businesses.

"Everyone in our community has struggled one way or another during this pandemic," Garcia said.

"They live, they work, they play here," she said. "And they really do help us to establish ourselves as a good community."

Karen Graham supported vendors by taking home more buys than she expected.

"We're all in this together and I have been working and I feel fortunate for that and want to not just hoard but share with others," Graham said.

Garcia said there was a tighter limit than usual on the number of vendors to better space out the market. Masks are also recommended.

For Gonzalez, those pandemic necessities are now a marketable fashion statement.

"It's feel like it's something we have to wear, but we can still show off our personality," she said.

The market is scheduled to be open every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. through October.
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