Heartwarming Mural Greets Those Arriving at Immigrant Housing Facility

Paula Le, Reporter

Thanks to the Las Artes Arts & Education Center, Pima County, and Catholic Community Services, Casa Alitas Welcome Center’s outer walls were transformed into a stunning mural. A mural that welcomes travelers stating that Tucson is a safe haven.

The excellent view was surely not painted overnight. The project took the duration of 13 months. The Casa Alitas program aspires to aid migrant families who wish to leave behind the struggles and violence they experienced from their homeland. The volunteers of the program help individuals who need care and support whether it is necessities, personal hygiene, or needing a shoulder to incline towards. Travelers are able to rest at the sanctuary that is provided, and the volunteers attend to any conflicts the families are battling with, such as contacting family members in the U.S.

The once Juvenile Justice Facility in Pima is now turned into an asylum home as of August of 2019. The individual behind the sketches of the artwork was artist Saul Ortega. In News 13’s article, the artist imbued “visuals representing the different communities the asylum seekers had called home — Guatemala, El Salvador, India, Brazil, Mexico, Honduras, and even Russia.”

Image by Randy Metcalf

The students of Las Artes Arts & Education Center had acquired a tremendous role in the project, for they assisted with the painting of the tiles. The program provides the youth with the chance to plan for GED and procure fundamental skills. In the Pima County article about the mural,  The Las Artes Program Manager expresses her recognition of the students willing to educate themselves on what the immigration process is like in the U.S.

In spite of the fact that the building is utilized as a housing facility temporarily, the tiled piece is framed and mounted in case the artwork needs to be transferred elsewhere. If you would like to support the community and volunteer alongside the Casa Alitas Program, click here!