Earlier this year Self Help Graphics & Art left behind its longtime home in East Los Angeles for a new building in Boyle Heights. Not only did the arts center move its staff and equipment to Boyle Heights, Self Help Graphics also brought along a cherished Virgen de Guadalupe statue that sat in the corner of the parking lot behind its former East Los Angeles office. The statue had followed Self Help Graphics once before when the arts center founded by a Catholic nun moved from its original location in Boyle Heights to East Los Angeles more than 30 years ago. Now that Self Help was moving back to Boyle Heights, there was no way the group was going to leave la virgen behind in the parking lot, Executive Director Evonne Gallardo told Jessica Perez, who produced the above video for the Mis Neighbors blog. Gallardo, who narrates the video, said of the statue :
“Wherever we go, she is going to go with us. She protects us. She is not only a beacon but I think everyone feels that she’s the inspiration behind many of the things that we do.
The statute, bundled up for its protection, made the trip to Boyle Heights on a Sunday in the Self Help Graphics truck, making a brief stop for a serenade. She now stands inside the center’s new building.