Tijuana, Mexico, Feb 9 (EFE).- A mural more than 30 meters (98 feet) long in this Mexican border city will celebrate the bicentennial of diplomatic relations between the United States and Mexico.
The inauguration of the colorful work of art was attended by the Mexican consular official from San Diego, California, and his US counterpart in Tijuana, Carlos Gonzalez Gutierrez and Tom Reott, respectively, and they emphasized the cultural and economic development that has been spurred in the border region thanks to the bilateral relationship.
Reott emphasized the historic act 200 years ago when Mexico’s first diplomat, Jose Manuel Zozaya y Bermudez, formally presented his credentials to US President James Monroe to officially establish diplomatic relations between the two nations.
The left-hand portion of the mural represents the environment of the San Diego region and the context within which important figures from the region have emerged, including a portrait of scientist Katya Echazarreta, who has worked on multiple NASA missions and is the first Mexican woman to travel into space in 2022.
The mural also depicts migration, from the historic “bracero” program that provided Mexican labor to the US starting in the mid-1940s. The right-hand portion of the mural illustrates the industry of Tijuana.
Ivan Arevalo, the artist tasked with preparing this work, told EFE that the mural “has as its objective emphasizing the wealth of the region both in natural landscapes of Baja California, as well as in science, technology, agriculture, family and patriotic feeling regarding the opportunities it offers.”
He said that, symbolically, the mural is embraced by two hands that reflect the union between the two countries.
“It’s not a single hand grabbing the other one, but rather (a pair) opening up the wealth that there is between both nations,” he said.
Echazarreta told media outlets that, for her, being depicted in the mural is so important because it’s “in Tijuana.”
“Because this is the city in which I grew up before we went to San Diego and began this dream. Having (the mural here) now brings it all full circle,” she said.
In that context, Echazarreta emphasized that over the years the condition of Mexican migrants has improved, at least in the San Diego region, in terms of living and being co-participants in society.
“When I was a little girl, I remember that the Mexicans I saw were the gardiners, the people cleaning houses, and now, in these same communities, I see that we Mexicans are engineers, we’re accountants, we have our own companies and businesses,” she said.