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Joseph and Mary Visit Pilsen for La Posada

By Chloe Riley | December 19, 2012 11:26am | Updated on December 19, 2012 4:04pm

PILSEN — Joseph and Mary walked the streets of Pilsen Tuesday night for La Posada, a recreation of the couple's return to Bethlehem.

The event started at St. Pius V Parish, 1919 S. Ashland Ave., with the recitation of the rosary.

Attendees were then given candles and marched down 18th Street, stopping at businesses to sing traditional Mexican Christmas songs.

The first shop marchers stopped at was Reciclarte art gallery, owned by Leticia Rodarte.

"I did not expect this much people!" she said. "I haven't done this since I was 12 years old and lived in Mexico."

Rodarte, 36, said this is her first year participating in La Posada since she moved to Pilsen.

As a girl in Mexico, she remembered impatiently waiting for the candy and piñatas of La Posada to begin, she said.

"We used to hate praying," she said. "We were like, 'Come on!' We were kids, you know."

The last stop for the evening was the La Casa resource center, hosted by The Resurrection Project, a nearly 20-year-old community housing group that was the Pilsen La Posada's main sponsor.

Danilo Aguilar, a program coordinator at The Resurrection Project who helped with the event, said he thought the night was a success.

"This is something that’s like really, really Mexican and Catholic. And we wanted to bring that back," he said. "People were happy, with smiles on their faces and it was like we took them back to their motherland."

Hot chocolate and tamales were on hand to warm up the marchers and children broke open piñatas and ate "aguinaldoto," a treat of candy, peanuts and mandarin oranges, to end the night's festivities.