A shrine of stuffed animals, silk flowers, and a necklace sits at the base of a dead tree just off Padre Dr. in San Antonio’s Padre Park. The name Raylina is written on the weathered trunk of the tree.
Defranco Sarabia, a Padre Park Food Forest executive committee member, told Explorist Media his memories of Raylina Arizola. The shrine is in memory of Arizola who died in a car crash there April 13, 2019.
The community is developing the four-acre section of Padre Park where the shrine is into the Padre Park Food Forest.
Sarabia told us Raylina was interested in the Festival of Colors or Holi, a Hindu festival marking the beginning of spring.
This spring the wildflowers planted in the food forest and around the shrine will bring the colors Raylina loved to life.
Sarabia said she’s a symbol for him of youth. He also expressed his hope she was still there with them as they develop the Food Forest.
“She’s a beautiful soul and I hope she’s here with us today,” Sarabia said, “she’s able to help guide us in these conversations and making sure this is a healthy place for the youth.”
Raylina’s story didn’t end in 2019. It’s kept alive by those like Sarabia who remember her. It’s kept alive by those who honor her memory by developing a Food Forest to improve the lives of youth in south San Antonio.
If you’d like to get involved in developing the Padre Park Food Forest or get more information you can find them on Facebook.