She is not against progress; she is against displacing people.
In Mexico City, you will find a new saint that has only been around since 2016. Her name is Santa Mari la Juaricua and she is the Anti-Gentrification Saint. Santa Mari la Juaricua was created by artists Sandra Valenzuela and Jorge Baca after seeing the physical and economic impact that gentrification was having on their neighborhoods, according to Aristegui Noticias. She might be a new saint, but she is already amassing a very devout and mobilized following of people who don’t want to lose their homes and small businesses to rising rent prices. According to Aristegui Noticias, Santa Mari la Juaricua protects “the right to accessible housing” especially in the neighborhoods of Ribera and Júarez where rent prices have seen steep increases in the past few years.
“She’s a saint against corruption and in favor of respectful communities, mixed and diverse neighborhoods, and the right to accessible housing,” Valenzuela told Aristegui Noticias about the purpose of Santa Mari la Juaricua. “Monthly rents that were, let’s say, $400 to $700 have duplicated and sometimes people have to leave the neighborhood.”
Aristegui Noticias reports that some neighborhoods in Mexico city have seen rent increases that are close to 140 percent, leaving many people unable to afford their rent anymore. This has led several of Santa Mati la Juaricua’s followers to hold processions against the gentrification of their neighborhoods. Oh, and she has her own rap song.
Like any other saint, Santa Mari la Juaricua has a prayer for anyone facing increased gentrification.
“Patron and mother, Saint and Girl, Friend and accomplice / Protector against gentrification / Save me from the bad practices, Free me from displacement / Of eviction, of the abusive increase in rent, / Of the spike in property taxes / Of the voracious landlords and of evil landlords / Save us from gentrification,” reads a part of the prayer to Santa Mari la Juaricua.