St. Paul walking tour highlights Mexican American culture, art

Mexican American art in St. Paul
A new Ramsey County walking tour of St. Paul's west side highlights Mexican American culture through its public art.
MPR Photo/Rupa Shenoy

A new Ramsey county exhibit unearths details about everyday lives of Mexican Americans in St. Paul since they first immigrated to the area nearly a century ago.

The Landmark Center exhibit opens Thursday evening. Mexican Americans arrived in Minnesota in the early 1900s to work the sugar beet fields, but settled in west St. Paul for the year-round work, said guest curator Leila Albert.

Albert unearthed memorabilia like dance cards and military commendation letters.

Part of the exhibit is at the Landmark Center, 75 West Fifth Street, St. Paul; the other part is a self-guided walking tour of the Mexican neighborhood on St. Paul's west side. A map provides stopping points on the tour to highlight public art or the history of Mexicans in St. Paul.

"We want to sort of leave a legacy so that we're not forgotton, our culture can carry on, they can continue on with future generations," Albert said.

The exhibit is free, as is the walking tour guide, which is available on Ramsey County's website, at the Landmark Center and at businesses on St Paul's west side.

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