The magic of colors

When a place starts dying, then its people die a little bit, too. Palmitas was a boring and non-descript hillside in Pachuca, Mexico, until the day Germen Crew, a youth organization from there, took and turned it into a beautiful and breathtaking piece of art. The group worked with both 452 families, or 1808 people, and government officials to refresh any house of the hill, so, something really special happened since the families were able to help with color selection.

The project is a homage to the wind: the city of Pachuca is nicknamed “la bella airosa”, a Spanish phrase that loosely translates as “the beautiful breezy city”. It took 14 months between 2014 and 2016, and required over 215,000 square feet of paint that spanned across 209 houses, but as it neared its final stages something actually started to change.

According to Enrique Gomez, the project director — once a former gang member who turned his life around when he rededicated himself to graffiti art and muralism — Palmitas was a sketchy area where people avoided going out after dark or interacting with each other, and now you see people talking to each other more and children hanging out on the steep stairways that cut through the neighborhood.

“They are growing, there is more community spirit. People are taking the security of their neighborhood into their own hands. We have painted 209 houses. Every color represents the soul of the neighborhood. It has been a community effort as each household has participated in some way.



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