Although a changing neighborhood can usually be hidden indoors, the sense of identity and community is also changed forever on the outside. The whitewashing of Latinx neighborhoods is not just a term used to describe gentrification, it also describes the literal cultural erasure from public spaces.
Murals have always had a special meaning for Mexicans and Mexican-Americans in Los Angeles. The public artwork from the time after the Mexican Revolution constructed a new collective ideology and visual history. Today, public art is still used as a way to convey ideas and history, which makes it all the more upsetting when it is destroyed.
In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, El Pollo Loco is celebrating their Mexican heritage and Los Angeles roots by bringing a series of murals back to life through augmented reality (AR). From September 15 through October 15, locals and visitors will be able to view 5 digitally restored LA murals via the Snapchat World Lens.
El Pollo Loco has also committed to donating storefront walls as canvases for permanent murals. The first mural will be painted on El Pollo Loco’s original restaurant location on Alvarado Street, which since opening in 1980 has featured an indoor mural depicting life in Sinaloa, Mexico, the childhood home of the company’s founder.
“We wanted to pay tribute to our Hispanic heritage and Los Angeles roots by preserving the lost Latino artwork and culture for a new generation to experience,” said Bernard Acoca, President and Chief Executive Officer at El Pollo Loco. “For us, this is more than just a moment in time, this is part of our continued commitment to serve the communities that molded and influenced our company.”
You can find the digital murals at the following locations:
“Nuestra Gente es Linda y Poderosa” – 2841 Boulder Street, Los Angeles
“Hex BBOY” – 417 East 15th Street, Los Angeles
“SK8 Still Lives” – 7753 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles
“Migration” – 1262 South Lake Street, Los Angeles
“Zapata” – 2000 W 6th Street, Los Angeles