Lilac Alley. Photo by Lola M. Chavez

A nonprofit serving San Francisco’s Chicano, Latino and Indígena communities on Mission Street near 25th Street is celebrating the completion of a new mural on its rear facade facing Lilac Street. The alley is known for its colorful and culturally relevant murals.

Instituto Familiar de la Raza’s new mural, titled “The Cycle of Re-Generation,” is the work of Darren Villegas. It depicts tree trunks with elements of DNA strands to evoke the concept of Latino traditions and roots. The Aztec goddess of fertility, Mayahuel, takes center stage in the mural as a symbol of life force and carrying on traditions.

In a release, the center highlights a twist the artist incorporated into a traditional image:  “Villegas is also careful to correct history when necessary. As a reminder of the tremendous and sometimes invisible contributions of women, Villegas flips the iconic image of Popocatépetl carrying Itza by showing a female warrior carrying a homeboy.”

High-rise buildings block out sunlight in the mural, symbolizing gentrification.

On Friday, May 12 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., the Instituto and the Calle 24 Latino Cultural Corridor will host an event featuring food, music, Aztec dance, and speakers.

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