The World Cup is still two months away, but soccer fans in the city of Bell are getting a jump on the action, and celebrating Mexican culture in the process.
An artist with deep roots in the city unveiled a mural on Thursday celebrating Mexico’s team.
The mural was unveiled to much fanfare, with mariachis playing and the sun shining bright.
“I’m so happy! I’m so happy to be back in Bell and to leave this here,” said artist Marlene Solorio.
She created the mural on the building of North Gate Market, on busy Atlantic Avenue.
“I did this mural in about five days,” she said. “Yes, I pulled some 12 hour shifts, but it’s all worth it. It’s so worth it to be back here in my hometown doing this huge project. It’s a big accomplishment for me!”
Adidas, the sportswear company, commissioned Solorio to create a mural celebrating Mexico’s soccer team and the 2022 World Cup.
The mural depicts Mexico’s Aztec roots, and a young female soccer player.
“I really wanted to have a girl, because I think it’s important to have that representation,” Solorio said. “And especially here, for the youth to remember they can still accomplish whatever they want.”
The co-president of North Gate Market, Miguel Gonzalez, agrees.
“We need to help them go beyond what they expect,” Gonzalez said.
Since opening the first North Gate Market 40 years ago with his father, Gonzalez has helped generations of Mexican Americans recreate their grandmother’s recipes.
“You always call your great-grandmother because you want authentic Mexican food,” he said. “And that’s what we are trying to keep in our stores, authentic Mexican food.”
It’s part of the Mexican culture.
“Culture is very important. It’s definitely something big that inspires my work and it’s taking me a long way. it’s very important to keep that wherever you go to remember your roots, your culture, everything,” Gonzalez said.
Like Solorio, Gonzalez knows the value of celebrating one’s culture, while also appreciating the opportunities of his adopted country.
“This great country allowed us to fulfill our American dream,” he said.
Source: NBC Los Angeles