What's it like to grow up in Little Village?


Early 90's: Primas and photobooth silliness at Ford City Mall.

Love in the time of Aqua Net and Crushed Cherries
was a piece I wrote a few years back when my friend Diana Pando posed the question, “What’s it like to grow up in the Little Village neighborhood?”  I didn’t start off writing about love–it’s a theme that emerged as the piece evolved and I allowed the creative process to guide me on a journey that ultimately led me back to my youth.  Below is the segment that includes the radio edit of this story–it aired on Vocalo on WBEZ a couple of weeks back.

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Did you grow up in Little Village?  Perhaps you grew up elsewhere but what was it like for you?  How does that story compare to what you read and see on the news and media?

You can share with us via the comments or drop us a line if you would like to guest blog.  Another avenue you might be interested in: Vocalo Storytelling Workshop is currently recruiting for a new group of storytellers deadline is April 16th.

Tribute: Selena leads the way

Tribute: Selena leads the way

Today I take a stroll down memory lane and let Selena’s music lead the way.  A tribute to la reina de la musica Tejana on the 15th anniversary of her death that’s made me realize that although a lot has changed–Mario’s Ballroom is now El Volkan–there’s one thing that remains the same: Selena’s vibrant music and contagious rhythms can always get me dancing.

Tribute: Selena leads the way, 6:16 min

Share your own Selena stories or reflections in the comment section on this amazing woman whose life was cut short more than a decade ago.

The Firefighter's Hat

The Firefighter's Hat

Yolanda Cardenas reflects on growing up in Back of the Yards, a field trip to the neighborhood firehouse, and a missed opportunity for her father.

Yolanda Cardenas with her father, Felipe Cardenas in 1976.

The Firefighter’s Hat by Yolanda Cardenas 7:57

“Chicago missed out on an exceptional firefighter but I never missed out on an exceptional father.”

Stephanie's Reprieve

Stephanie's Reprieve

Newly married and just starting to try for a baby, Stephanie Diaz Reppen reflects on a choice she made over ten years ago–it was the repreive of her 26th summer.


Stephanie, a Guatemalan-American writer/performer is the Proyecto Latina feature for January 2010. She will be reading an excerpt from her novel-in-progress, You Can’t Call the Indians Maria Anymore. She will also premiere a new performance piece entitled Dichos, featuring the mesmerizing art of Bunraku puppetry, and starring “Abuelita.” Get bio and event details here.

The magic of the Three Kings

The magic of the Three Kings

The magic of the the Three Kings has been a part of Liza Ann Acosta’s life since she was a child. As an adult she still believes in The Three Kings and relives the magic of the holiday every January 6th by making a pilgrimage to her father’s town, Juana Diaz in Puerto Rico, where a grand celebration takes place. Listen to her story below.


Over the Rainbow with Tania Unzueta & Edith Bucio

Over the Rainbow with Tania Unzueta & Edith Bucio

Listen to two Chicago queer Latinas honor their history and identities by paving the path to create more visibility for the triumphs and struggles of their communities.

Tania Unzueta shares history and thoughts on the move of the Chicago Dyke March to Pilsen and what it meant personally that the march was arriving to the community she lives and works in.

Tania Unzueta, 14:37

Edith Bucio is the June 2009 feature for Proyecto Latina. She speaks to us about being a queer Latina writer in Chicago and her work as a volunteer with the Chicago Dyke March.

Edith Bucio

Interview by Irasema Gonzalez.