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Every summer, young people from across Chicago come to Little Village to take classes at Yollocalli Arts Reach, an award-winning youth initiative of the National Museum of Mexican Art. Here, students of the Camera Flux class explain in their own photographs and words what it means to be an immigrant in Little Village today.

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Camila Ruiz, age: 15

Neighborhood: Little Village

“Maria Dolls are one of the most iconic charms in Mexican culture. Their colorful traditional clothing and soft, heartwarming exterior are passed on from generation to generation as a remembrance from back home.”

Amy Roman, age 15

Neighborhood: Little Village

“El Elotero. Many know this guy, honking his horn on 26th Street. People run to him to buy a good elote or chicharrones. He brings the delicious flavors of Mexico to La Villita.”

Dymarkco Davis, age 15

Neighborhood: Tri-Taylor

“Ice cream vendors are common in Little Village. Selling ice cream is a way many immigrants make ends meet.”

Evelyn Santos, age 15

Neighborhood: West Lawn

“Conchas are valuable to the Latinx community.”

Mario Ramirez, age 18

Hometown: Lyons, Illinois

“In Little Village, vendors make a living selling raspados to busy customers.”

Emmanuel Ramirez, age 15

Hometown: Lyons, Illinois

“Piñata-filling from Little Village’s favorite candy joint, Dulcelandia.”

Zipporah Auta, age 15

Neighborhood: Near West Side

“A child looks out the window of a local boys and girls club where many neighborhood children spend their summer days.”

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