La Villita Arch
26th & Albany Ave.
The La Villita Arch in Chicago’s Little Village marks the neighborhood with the highest concentration of Mexicans in the city, as well as the center of the dance music they developed here, duranguense. The name comes from the Mexican state of Durango and its sound features the large tamborazo drum, brass and electronic instruments with lyrics that extolled working class values and outlaw heroes. During the early 2000s, duranguenese’s uptempo beats could be heard throughout the neighborhood through bands practicing in their garages, car radios and in such area clubs as Casino Tropical, Los Globos and El Sinaloense. Many of its leading bands also formed in Chicago, including K-Paz De La Sierra, Los Horóscopos de Durango and Grupo Montez de Durango. Along with the music itself, duranguenese culture has also included a distinctive look: Gatherings feature arrays of matching cowboy boots and belts along with numerous distinctive “taco” hats.
Caption: Location of the La Villita Arch.