Rebel Mariposa has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from UT Austin, so it makes sense that she aspires to create a spaces that promote wellness in her community. Rebel is a queer, Tejana, activist, and creative. Until October 2020, she was is the co-creator and founder of La Botanica SA, Texas’ first Vegan restaurant with a full bar and community venue. She’s the currently the owner of Alluring Alchemist, an intention-based skin, beauty, and soul care line and co-creator of San Arte Healing and Cultural clinic. This interview is sure to inspire anyone who aspires to show up for their culture and community and do it in a meaningful way.
Rebel was strongly influenced by her upbringing and her mother. From a young age, she watched her mother, a political activist and artist, do her work. She was immersed in the underground scene of Chicanos, Tejanos, Straight, Gay, Queer people, creating art as a way of being able to survive. Rebel views art as a form of protest and self-expression. She experienced being very poor at times, watching her mother both struggle and thrive. Her mother came out as a lesbian at 40, which left a teen Rebel confused. By her 20’s, she came to understand her mother and embraced living her own truth. When asked about identifying as Queer, Rebel answered, “Queer allows me to be more fluid with my sexuality. I have dated men and women. The spectrum is so wide, and attraction has been across that spectrum.” In talking to Rebel, she clearly illuminates that Art, Politics, and Sexuality can be revolutionary; she truly embodies that.
JOURNEY TO VEGAN
Texas is beef country. It’s no easy feat to be vegan there. Rebel moved to San Diego for a few years, where she got to experience a vast exposure to vegan cuisine. She transitioned from being vegetarian to being full vegan while there. She went raw vegan for three months, which ignited a fire in her. She fell in love with how magical, powerful, and healing food can be. She also felt connected to her indigenous roots, where things are more in harmony and have more balance. She began working in food, creating a catering company. She had so many requests from her family and friends in San Antonio for healthy food options, and that was her sign of returning home and doing the work there. She partnered with a friend to open a restaurant, La Botanica SA, “a restaurant offering really delicious food that just happens to be vegan.”
We got to witness the cultural hub that Rebel created. La Botanica was a place to eat, drink, and be merry and also a place to get educated. She intentionally created a multipurpose space that serves the community. La Botanica was a restaurant that also provided a space for nonprofits, small businesses, and independent artists to promote their work, develop their cause, and fundraise. She envisioned an establishment that also operated as a cultural center, and that’s precisely what she created.
La B may be closed but Rebel continues to create. She co-hosts a video series called MangoLuna, discussing life as femme and queer Latinas with fellow activist Erika Casasola. Rebel is also the owner of Alluring Alchemist, an intention-based skin, beauty, and soul care line. And if all the before mentioned was not enough, she is co-creator of the San Arte Healing and Cultural clinic!
Rebel is a change-maker, an inspiration, and an intentional space holder. We cannot wait to keep watching her contributions.
This is not just another success story. The fact of the matter is that we, as Latinas are an underrepresented group in media created to inspire. This series was created to inspire women (and men) from all walks of life, dream big, and improve mental and physical health and increase spiritual, emotional, and financial consciousness.