Humboldt Park, known for its social and ethnic diversity, has been home to Chicago-based immigrants since its inception 150 years ago. The park, which is sandwiched between Logan Square and the Ukrainian Village, emulates Chicago's celebration of culture and community.
While the neighborhood of Humboldt Park is an ethnic smorgasbord, much of its residents are Puerto Rican. Since 1980, Puerto Ricans have been the largest ethnic group in the area, maintaining a steady 28% majority. The Puerto Rican roots in Humboldt date back to 1966, when the infamous Division Street Riots occurred. The riots, which were a result of a police shooting of an unarmed youth, kickstarted a movement in Chicago calling for socio-economic equality- specifically for Puerto Ricans.
Today, Puerto Rican communities are facing the harsh realities of gentrification, however their unwavering pride in Humboldt Park's history can't (and shouldn't) go ignored.
Each year, the neighborhood transforms for Fiestas Puertorriquenas: a day-long parade of Puerto Rican music, food and dance. The parade takes over Division Street, including the stretch named Paseo Boricua, which features two beaming Puerto Rican flags on either side.
While the neighborhood may be changing, Humboldt Park will forever be a Puerto Rican safe heaven- welcoming of any and all cultures and communities.
Photos by Ambriehl Crutchfield @ambriehl & @ambriehlc
Story by Maddie Gubernick @maddiesamg