By Ana Gomez Salcido
Saying “no” to a new border wall is the motif of a new mural that honors migrant workers and pro-migrant activists, which was added to Chicano Park.
Roberto Martinez, Micaela Saucedo, and Enrique Morones are some of the activists honored on the mural by artist Salvador Barajas.
The mural features the journey of migrant workers from Mexico to the United States trying to achieve their American dream. It includes the image of the current wall between Mexico and the United States and has a dozen crosses that represent the deaths of migrants who die trying to cross the border.
The mural painting also depicts a migrant worker being choked by two hands, one representing the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the other hand representing Mexican politicians.
It took almost a month for Barajas to complete the mural that can now be seen by the thousands of people who visit the park each year.
This is the second mural created by Barajas at Chicano Park. He participated in the creation of the historical mural back in 1973. And he also participated in the restoration of two murals in 2012.
“It’s really great to come back. I can paint better than one I was a SDSU student in 1973, now I’m an art professional, and you can notice the difference,” Barajas said. “It takes a whole process to create a mural, you can’t just come and paint the wall.”
The idea of creating a mural showing migrant workers in Chicano Park was born nine years ago, but it was only until 2017 that funds were secured.
“The message of the mural is that we don’t want a wall between the United States and Mexico, because love has no barriers. The message was the same nine years ago, but now with the new president of the United States, Donald Trump, a new wall is set to be built at the border,” said Enrique Morones, director and founder of Border Angels, a pro-migrant non-profit. “The mural is very meaningful especially now. It represents a pacific way to protest against the politics of the new U.S. president.”
The new mural was also finished just in time before the 47th annual Chicano Park Day Celebration that will take place on Saturday April 22, 2017 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Chicano Park. The family event is free and open to the public. It will include traditional music and dance, including Aztec indigenous dance, coordinated by Danza Azteca Calpulli Mexihca.