Sueños Music Festival in its second year was a reminder that the descendants of immigrants from across Latinoamérica are very much here and that this city is also our home. Despite the historic segregation of Chicago and the divide among Latino/a/x people based on nationality, the younger generations are beginning to understand, accept and learn from each other’s cultures. 

The festival at Grant Park saw Mexican youth in cowboy boots and embroidered hats juking to Afro-Puerto Rican reggaeton. Wisin & Yandel wrapped themselves in various flags. Nicky Jam dedicated a song to Medellin in gratitude to his Colombian fans. Myke Towers, wearing a Jeff Hamilton Chicago Bulls leather jacket, took off his Air Jordan Bred 1s on stage mid-set, gifting them to a young fan in the crowd. Eduin Caz of Grupo Firme demanded to hear the audience yell “el grito Latino” during his set closing out the festival. Time will tell if the force of our rhythms can break through other barriers our community faces every day, but the ability to come together and celebrate each other serves as a foundation as our presence in Chicago becomes stronger than ever.

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Mateo Zapata is a South Side-raised creative of Colombian/Chilean descent working at the intersection of photojournalism, film, art production and hip-hop. He photographed the inaugural Sueños for the Weekly.

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