Pilsen celebrates 40th anniversary of A La Esperanza mural


>>>REPORTER: THE HIGH SCHOOL DRUM LINE COMMANDING ATTENTION OUTSIDE THE SCHOOL. BUT THE REAL STAR OF THE SCHOOL TODAY IS A RESTORED MURAL COMMEMORATING THE STRUGGLE AND INSPIRATION OF THE SCHOOL’S HISTORY. ALL THE WHILE, CURRENT STUDENTS MAY NOT REALIZE HOW THIS HIGH SCHOOL IN PILSEN BECAME A REALITY. A SCHOOL WALKOUT, BOYCOTTS YEARS OF PROTEST, RESULTED IN PERMANENT CHANGE AT CPS AND ULTIMATELY THE OPENING OF BENITO JUAREZ HIGH SCHOOL IN 1977.>>>>IT WAS A FIGHT TO BUILD A HIGH SCHOOL FOR OUR CHILDREN IN THEIR NEIGHBORHOOD. REPORTER: SHE WAS A PARENT IN THE 1970’S. UNHAPPY WITH THE HIGH DROPOUT RATE OF LATINO STUDENTS AND LACK OF QUALITY EDUCATIONAL OFFERINGS, SHE AND OTHER PARENTS TURNED THEIR FRUSTRATION INTO ACTION.>>AT THE LOCAL SCHOOL COUNCIL, WE CONTINUED TO HAVE THAT VOICE THAT CARRIED, AND THE BOARD OF EDUCATION APPROVED THE MURAL. REPORTER:REPORTER: THE MURAL THAT MEANT AND MEANS SO MUCH TO SOME IS TO BE DEDICATED WOOD WITH ONE OF THE ORIGINAL ARTISTS HERE.>>FIVE YEARS AGO, THE MURAL WAS ALMOST IN RUINS. AND HERE IT IS. IT MAKES ME FEEL VERY HAPPY THAT OUR WORK IS RECOGNIZED. REPORTER: THE MURAL IS TITLED “40 YEARS TO HOPE,” A LASTING REMINDER OF THE FIGHT FOR CHANGE AND A NEW GENERATION WITH THE ACADEMIC TOOLS THEY NEED TO SUCCEED.

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