CHICAGO - Chicago's first Mexican cultural store to open on the Magnificent Mile has a unique attraction to lure people inside: a 10-foot-tall statue of La Catrina.
Just in time for Day of the Dead, the new store is showcasing a piece of Mexican culture along the people-packed stretch of downtown.
Gabriel Neely-Streit, co-owner of Colores Mexicanos, said Día de los Muertos is celebrated in Mexico and other parts of Latin America.
The holiday marks the welcoming back of the souls of loved ones from the afterlife to return to this world. The celebrations typically last a few days beginning on Nov. 1.
"It's definitely a very important season for the store," Neely-Streit said. "We're coming up on our one-year anniversary so this is actually the first time we will celebrate Día de los Muertos in the store, which we are really excited for."
Neely-Streit said La Catrina has become a very important symbol of the holiday. The original sculpture on the Mag Mile was created and hand-painted in Aguascalientes, Mexico and taken to Chicago where it stands proudly today.
Colores Mexicanos co-owners Erika Espinosa, Leticia Espinosa and Neely-Streit are eager to share Mexican culture and history with visitors. The store, located at 605 N. Michigan Ave., is independently owned and supports fair trade, offering indigenous crafts, artwork, clothing and accessories.
The store opened when others were closing due to the pandemic on Michigan Avenue. The owners said they have felt welcomed and embraced by the community.