Elena Rojas Upholds Legacy at El Tepeyac
Dressed in a short-sleeved, white Mexican blouse, jeans and sensible slip-on shoes, she has accented her standard “uniform” with holiday accessories. Around her neck and on her wrist, miniature Christmas ornaments and silver bells adorned with tiny ribbons and bows announce her movements as she navigates the crowded restaurant floor.
A more select group of restaurant regulars, neighbors and Catholic parishioners from throughout the hemisphere, however, know “El Tepeyac” as the name of the hill-top in Mexico City where the “Virgen de Guadalupe” is said to have appeared to an Indian named Juan Diego.
His success could be claimed by everyone, and because it was built upon one order of beans and rice at a time in an era when Boyle Heights was much more racially mixed, it resonated across differences based on religion, language, heritage or creed.