Pilsen by Christian Cerna

Grade: 11th

Culture thrives in Pilsen and invites you to explore the treasures that wait around every corner. The beauty of art is very much appreciated and greatly drawn on in the neighborhood. Here vivid murals have flourished in the most unpredictable places; on the fronts of homes, the sides of restaurants or apartment buildings, and along with railway overpasses. Many of these murals depicting Mexican culture, such as food, famous singers, religion and also current issues Mexicans are facing. For instance, the Declaration of Immigration Mural, which was the creation of a constitution revealing the justice and fair equality brought amongst illegal immigrants. However, the artfulness doesn’t arrive at a dead end, it is still driven within storefront galleries and studios, as well as in the colorful collections of the National Museum of Mexican Art, a venerated cultural institution.

Despite the prevalence of horrific crime, which actually has been lowering down in recent years, it’s also a neighborhood of warm-hearting spirit and good families. It has also evolved well enough and became eminently diverse. For over 150 years, Pilsen has been a port of entry for immigrants. In early times it started with a surge of Eastern Europeans, which later shifted and became predominantly Latino. Now mixed in the close knit, united or bound together by a strong relationship, Mexican Americans have brought great creativity, inspiration and percipient students. Gratitude to this diversity, you’ll find vintage shops, independent coffee houses and quaint cafes alongside bodegas, panaderias(Mexican bakeries) and restaurants serving authentic Mexican cuisine.