The border between the United States and Mexico has existed for a number of years without any major problems. The wall has been used to cross over by various immigrants looking for a better life in the states.
There have been a lot of changes in policies since president Trump took power. With the suggestion to build a new wall, relations between the US and Mexico were strained. Trump proposed that Mexico pay for the wall but in the end, it seems that the US will have to foot the bill.
Art is a good way of reconciling the community to the events of their times. Artists have used their voice to bring the community to awareness. A man by the name of Enrique Chiru came up with a brilliant concept of using art to spread positive messages.
How, you ask? By a mural.
Dubbed the Mural of Brotherhood, the project seeks to cover 700 miles of the 2000 mile border. The aim is to become the longest mural in the world. The mural being painted faces the Mexican side giving hope while shedding light on Trump’s anti-immigrant policies.
Born in Mexico himself, he crossed the border at a young age together with his mother. In the one year that he lived in LA without legal papers, he came to understand some of the problems that immigrants face.
He wanted to give back to the Tijuana community by passing these visual messages of hope. There even images that indicate that the people are against plans of building the wall. Beginning in 2016, the mural has gained momentum drawing international attention.
This was not his first mural. He has over 18 years of experience in the world of art. He has painted over 80 murals. These murals have been located in different cities like California and Guatemala among others. With all the experience, he was suited to conduct this project. The fact that it was his hometown was the cherry on top of the cake.
While it did not start as a world record breaking project, it started as a simple way to maintain and beautify the border. Enrique Chiru said “The wall is rusty and dirty, they never do maintenance. I wanted to beautify it to give something back to the community.”
The project as it continues to expand it has been worked on by over 2600 volunteers. Enrique Chiu sometimes directs the painting so as to ensure that everything looks neat and that the message is clear. He is known to draw outlines of what is to be painted to give direction to the volunteers who have never painted before.
Once the outline is complete, the volunteers have complete freedom to choose the colors that they want. The initiative is still ongoing and more people are volunteering to paint the large mural. This project has brought a lot of people together and created a bond that is cemented completion of the mural.
When asked by the Lonely planet Travel News on the progress on the wall, Enrique Chiu stated “So far we have painted two kilometers in Tijuana, half a kilometer in the city of Tecate and half a kilometer in Mexicali. I want to make a change in the world like many people, and I think I’m achieving it. Through art and the will of people, a social and cultural movement is being made that can fill people with positive feelings and send messages in this huge canvas we have. Every weekend people, friends, and artists keep arriving to achieve this union,”
Already, he and his team have covered tremendous ground. With 1.3miles covered, there is still more to go. He even has an idea to paint on the other side of the wall if the US gives their permission. This would be a lovely idea as both sides of the wall will send a message of peace and unity for both nations.
With a world record in view, Enrique Chiu and his team are working non-stop. The record was held by the Pueblo Levee project in Colorado. Unfortunately, the project gave in to wear and tear as the levee had to be repaired. While the 3mile project gets repaired, the mural of brotherhood will hold its place.
More people and public institutions have offered their support thus making the project an achievable dream. There are no restrictions as to age or skill. All can paint and add their contribution to the largest outdoor mural to be.
Are you interested? Join the bandwagon and make the mural a success. You won’t regret it.