Ingrid Marroquin displays pillow-covers and handmade jewelry.

The second annual Fiesta!, showcasing Latino – also called “Latinx” –  businesses, cuisine and culture marked the end of Hispanic Heritage Month in Evanston. Vendors at the fiesta, held at the Levy Center, offered jewelry, beauty products and food, as well as Internet, legal and financial services.

Anna Vela, owner of Amanacer Taco Shop and President of the Latinx Business Association, which with the City of Evanston co-sponsored Fiesta!, said, “As business owners in Evanston, we feel we’re a good bridge to the community.”

Linda del Bosque, Vice President of the association, said, “Right now there is a need for business owners to come together. This organization wishes to fill the void.”

Evanston’s Hispanic population, 2,669 in 1990, was 6,739 in 2010, comprising 9% of Evanston’s population. District 65’s Hispanic population is 21%. School District 202’s Hispanic population is 21%.

Earlier this month, Jalisco en Evanston brought its annual cultural presentation to Evanston Township High School.

At the Oct. 8 City Council meeting, Deputy City Clerk Eduardo Gomez sat on the dais for the entire meeting, the first Latino to do so. He spoke of the necessity for Latinos to register to vote and make their voices heard.

“One in 10 residents of Evanston is Latino,” Mr. Gomez said. “Our pursuit of the American dream is built on the foundation of hard work that our families have laid for us.” Addressing the young Latinos of Evanston, he added, “If you don’t plan on voting in this election for yourself, I ask that you at least do it for your parents and the people that sacrificed so to bring you here.

“In this current political climate that is being felt across the country, we are faced with a tremendous hurdle that can only be overcome if we work together. We must decide if we are to sit back and do nothing or we will take action and make our voices heard by voting in candidates and policies which push our nation forward.

“This election has the possibility to set the tone for years to come, not only for the millions of Americans
 right now but for the millions of Americans to come.”

National Hispanic Heritage Month was Sept. 15-Oct. 15.

Mary Gavin is the founder of the Evanston RoundTable. After 23 years as its publisher and manager, she helped transition the RoundTable to nonprofit status in 2021. She continues to write, edit, mentor...