With murals and rugs, young migrants take “a little piece” of Guanajuato to Atlanta

The Guanajuato murals in Atlanta show cultural heritage such as spirituality, pre-Hispanic roots or Catholicism

Atlanta.- Culture and the arts have no borders. Young artists from Guanajuato managed to capture a bit of Mexican culture and traditions in the city of Atlanta, Georgia. They also called for the nostalgia of the migrant community that lives in this area of ​​the American union.

Alejandro Cortés, originally from San Miguel de Allende and winner of the 2022 state youth award, and Jorge Raúl Negrete, from the municipality of Ocampo, went to Atlanta a couple of months ago to project one of the most important traditions in Mexico, the ‘Day of the Dead’.

“We captured it through a mural. Everything arose from a photo that was taken in San Miguel de Allende. A year ago, in this painting we tried to capture the characteristic elements of this festivity, such as the flora, fauna and a bit of the daily life of these dates”, said Jorge Raúl Negrete.

Photo: Special

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They capture Mexican elements

He stressed that the components of this image are: the nopal, in honor of one of the most representative plants in Mexico, the main icon of November 2, the catrina and aspects of pre-Hispanic mythology with Mictlán.

It is made on a surface of 5 meters high by 4 base. Acrylic and other spray paints were used with the same finish.

Alejandro Cortés said that in this work they were able to capture the essence of a girl characterized as a catrina. She has been instilled in this series of traditions since she was little and the responsibility that they are not lost over time.

“The girl who inspired us told us about the love she felt for her dog and wanted to paint it to celebrate this party with him. So we adapted the whole concept and linked it to Mictlán and the myth that exists regarding people who treat dogs well and their retribution in the world of the dead when they are accompanied and guided on the right path.”

In addition, they integrated the figure of the hummingbird of which the legend tells is about Huitzilopochtli, as the emissary of souls and according to the myth if you see one near you it is because it came to give you a message.

Alejandro said that they included aspects such as: the daily life of the Day of the Dead, spirituality, pre-Hispanic roots, Catholicism and combining it with an important place like the Plaza de las Américas in Atlanta, which is visited by countless Latinos every year.

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Photo: Special

What does this legacy mean?

The young artists said that working on the mural was enriching for them. Mainly for the approach and interaction with the public in the square. On the other hand, for the opportunity to share with the countrymen who live in the United States and people from other countries about the culture of Mexico.

“We wanted everyone in general to be able to appreciate our art and bring a little piece of our country, our state to their workplace or where they live. So that they feel more at home, it is the most beautiful thing that we take with us, ”said Jorge.

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Photo: Special

They transmit cultural heritage

They mentioned that another of the objectives was to share this experience with the children of Mexican migrants, who for various reasons do not know Mexico and Guanajuato. Through time they have transmitted this cultural heritage and identity.

“We as Guanajuatenses share with them what we experience every year. ANDIt is very nice because it generates more interest in knowing and traveling to Mexico and nurturing the culture more,” said Alejandro.

In this regard, Verónica Toscano, liaison for the government of the state of Guanajuato and the Secretariat for Migrants and International Liaison in Atlanta, Georgia said that thanks to work like the one carried out by these young artists, they managed to make them remember aspects of their childhood in the migrant community.

“The fact that this mural has remained is one of the most important squares in the US is worth noting and that is why we wanted to make clear that Guanajuato is present in all cultural and political aspects, that is why the name of our state is in this work”.

He said that for migrants from Guanajuato, actions like these make them visible, dignified, and integrated so that American society not only sees the negative side and associates them with living undocumented.

“Americans believe that we are going to take away their jobs, but when they see this human, cultural part, that we are migrants who contribute to the community, that we exalt our traditions and customs, we share them through art, we earn a place of respect ”.

At the end, he said that this effort gives migrants access to places where they could not enter before, being seen only as a worker, and now they are seen as people who contribute to the development of that country.

Photo: Special

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Create ornamental mat

After this mural, Alejandro Cortés, Jorge Raúl Negrete together with Ma. Dolores Gómez Navarro, created an ornamental rug in the Oakland cemetery.

Through the liaison office in Georgia, in coordination with the Guanajuato State Institute of Culture and the General Consulate of Mexico in Atlanta, a magical Day of the Dead festival was held.

In this great party there were altars, catrinas, music and food.

With these actions, we take part of our culture to our countrymen so that they do not forget their Guanajuato.


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Guanajuato murals in Atlanta Guanajuato murals in Atlanta

With murals and rugs, young migrants take “a little piece” of Guanajuato to Atlanta