Source: Religion & Ethics News Weekly
On July 30, 2004 Religion & Ethics News Weekly reported that, "strolling musicians singing songs of love, sidewalk food vendors, and murals in a rainbow of colors. They're all common sights in Los Angeles's immigrant Latino neighborhoods. So is an unusual kind of store called a botanica. On some streets, there seems to be one on every block. Although a typical botanica can appear humble on the outside, come within and one finds a rich array of spiritual and religious merchandise: candles and incense, potions and powders, icons and statues. Taken together, the products represent a kaleidoscope of faiths and folkloric practices... The stores first emerged in the Caribbean, where they originally sold traditional herbal remedies and items used in the practice of Santeria, a faith that mixes together indigenous West African religious beliefs and Christian customs."