It was just before midnight and downtown Los Angeles lay empty and silent, its streets subdued by the rain.
But on Spring Street, just around the corner from Cesar E. Chavez Avenue, the sidewalks teemed with humanity.
Crowds of pedestrians, many bearing bouquets, spilled into the road while a line of cars inched into a parking lot near Our Lady Queen of Angels Church across from Olvera Street. Vendors selling hot chocolate, tamales and votive candles stood over their steaming stands.
Flowers were piled in a pyramid in front of the mural of the Virgin Mary. Friday was the eve of Fiesta Guadalupana, a Catholic feast day celebrating the story of the Virgin Mary's appearance to an Aztec Indian peasant in Mexico in 1531...