Sure, East Los Angeles has the parade. But Boyle Heights and its people have their own reasons to celebrate this 16th of September, or Mexican Independence Day. Let us count the ways:

Tepa Barber Shop in Boyle Heights, located on 4th Street and Grande Vista Avenue, has been in the neighborhood for 15 years. Photo by Brizette Castellanos

1- The people. According to Census figures, as many as 81.6% of Boyle Heights residents claim Mexican ancestry. And of the foreign born, who are more than half the population, 87.7% were born in México.

The flag

2- The flag. As in the recently restored mural in Ramona Gardens.

mariachi girl

3- Mariachis. Enough to name a plaza after them.

Photo by Flickr user Rebecca Dru/ Creative Commons
Photo by Flickr user Rebecca Dru/ Creative Commons

4- Lucha Villa. We have a street named after the famous ranchera singer, and her likeness in a statue at the aforementioned Mariachi Plaza.

A variety of tasty tacos are the main attraction of the festival, held during its first years at Mariachi Plaza.

5- Tacos. In restaurants, food trucks and street cars, we have some of the best in town.

Photo by Flickr user Arnold Gatilao/ Creative Commons
Photo by Flickr user Arnold Gatilao/ Creative Commons

6- Cemitas. With a large poblano population, Boyle Heights offers a wide selection.


7- Casa del Mexicano. This local institution is on Pedro Infante Way, named after the famed Mexican screen idol.


8- José Huízar. Regardless of how you may feel about our council member, he is the first in modern Los Angeles history to have been born in México (he’s a native of Zacatecas).


9- La virgencita. There are Guadalupana figures all over town.


10- Tortillas. Dozens of local businesses make and sell the most important staple of the Mexican diet.

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Boyle Heights Beat

Boyle Heights Beat is a bilingual community newspaper produced by its youth "por y para la comunidad". The newspaper and its sister website serve an immigrant neighborhood in East Los Angeles of just under...

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