The Chicanos think of the Park as the first piece of Aztlán that has been reconquered. The speaker said that the past is the future and the dances consecrate this “sacred” place. This mystical, quasi-religious goal makes it a cult movement. They believe they have a divine right to the land.
The Chicano fascination with skulls, hearts, blood and death can be traced back to the time that the Aztecs carried out human sacrifice in very large numbers. Hearts were extracted and offered to the gods. Blood was drank and parts of the bodies were eaten. The skulls were put on racks and displayed as trophies.
You can find perverse messages embedded in these murals, if you know what to look for. Some are very obvious, others a little more subtle.
The giant swastika in one mural is of interest, because the Chicano ideology is loosely based on a book by a paid Mexican Nazi propagandist. The book is entitled “La Raza Cosmica” by Jose Vasconcelos. Vasconcelos also popularized the term “La Raza”, for the Mexican mestizo race.
In another mural you see a sunset over San Diego Bay filled with blood. You know it’s blood, because on other sides of the mural you see a heart spewing blood into the Bay. These are just a couple of examples, but there are many references to violence and revolution in the murals at Chicano Park in San Diego.
Since the “takeover” on April 22,1970, Chicano Park has been made possible by funding and grants from San Diego city, California state and the US federal governments. Chicano Park Day is celebrated annually on the Saturday closest to April 22.