Mexicantown Through Artist Eyes – CBS Detroit
It’s an area full of culture and food.
A story that began in Detroit almost a century ago has now grown into an enclave of its own on the Southwest Side.
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Elton Monroy Duran, a mural painter, says he first came to Detroit in 2014 and knew he wanted to call it home.
“And I came here to seek a better future for myself and my family and that is what drives us,” said Duran.
“To come here and make this dream come true.”
Duran uses his skills as an artist to keep this rich story alive.
“And all murals are connected to a story, are connected to a part of the community,” continued the artist.
Duran immigrated to Detroit from Mexico in 2015 and has since painted 19 murals in the area that tell visual stories of the community’s growth.
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“Some of the elderly people in this area were so kind that they shared this information, ”Duran said.
“When I paint murals, I like to be inspired by these stories, by what they have to say.”
Mexicans have been migrating to Southwest Detroit since the 1920s; behind the old train station where West Vernor and Bagley Streets are the main corridors.
“ So when they got here they got off the train and said, ‘We did it!’ So here it is, and that’s why Mexicantown, or this area of Detroit, was taken as their home, ”Duran explained.
Today Mexicantown has a thriving business district that 82 percent of consumers dine in.
Duran says while Mexicantwon is known for its cuisine, the community has a lot more to offer.
“When people think of southwest Detroit or Mexicantown, they think of the food and the tacos and that’s good, right, but I think it’s more than that, “Duran said.
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“You know how to present people and present their stories and present reality through pictures. I think that’s important to me. “