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"This is the American dream and we are living it," said Marisela Chavez, enjoying a quiet summer evening with Stephanie, 11, one of her three daughters. Chavez came to Beardstown in 1995; she works for the school system's bilingual program and her husband Valentine, left, works at Excel. Like many Mexican families in Beardstown, they purchased a home next to Caucasian neighbors and adopted local customs, such as flying the flag and maintaining their lawn.