Source: Los Angeles Times
On July 28, 2000, the Los Angeles Times reported that a replica of El Salvador's "sacred image of Jesus Christ, Divine Savior of the World," the country's patron saint, arrived in Los Angeles. The original statue "resides in the Catholic cathedral of San Salvador and serves as a source of nationalism and religious devotion for Salvadorans." The 10-day journey of the statue ended when it arrived at its new home, the Dolores Mission Roman Catholic Church in Boyle Heights. "In El Salvador, this is one of our most important traditions," said Mario Fuentes Rivas, organizational director of the Salvadoran American National Assn., known as SANA. "What we're talking about is heritage. Where do we come from? What does it mean when parents name their son Salvador? I want my kids to know these things and have that sense of identity...We were children of war and now we're adults," said Rivas, who left El Salvador when fighting erupted in 1980. "We've been through hell, and we need to give future generations a sense of where we've been as a country."