The Art Of Bringing Cultures Together

Community mural in Pescadero traces the town’s history
BY: SHARON SHELDON

A small but determined group of residents in El Pescadero, a small village about 40 minutes north of Cabo San Lucas, are working on a community mural right in the heart of town. The brainchild of Yvette Fischer, originally from San Francisco, the project hopes to combine the forces of both Mexican nationals and ex-pats in the creation of a visual project that recognizes multiple cultures. “Participating in this project is an opportunity for both cultures to come together,” she says. “We want to encourage interaction between the Spanish and non-Spanish speaking communities. Even if we don’t speak the same language, we can work together to create inviting public spaces.”

The mural is on the wall of the town’s central gathering place, the baseball stadium. A larger than life representation of Pescadero’s traditions, mural images reflect the area’s history, from the original Indians to modern day surfers.

Yvette created a design intended to celebrate those things considered important to the community: the Indian’s hair becomes the river flowing from the Sierra Laguna mountains to the ocean; next is the vaquero, or cowboy, recognizing the era when most people lived on rural communities and ranchos. Today, an important part of Pescadero’s identity is the large farms, depicting a shift to a majority of the population living in town. The mural will end with an ocean scene and surfers.

Volunteers to improve Pescadero’s visual environment have included Gringo Cerritos homeowner Jeffrey Ferman from Tucson, painting alongside local Julio Rivas. Last Friday there were 13 volunteers, 11 of them Mexican school kids, ages 3 to 13.

Community muralist Alondra Salvaterra, age 11, believes she’s making a meaningful contribution to the project. “I’m painting so that tourists can see that we in Pescadero have a strong community,” she said. Her classmate, William Daniel Avilez Orosco, also 11, says he’s happy to be working on the mural because “it’s such a good project.”

Sponsored by Sistemas Naturales y Desarollo, a local non-profit association, the mural was inspired by a desire to craft a collaborative project that is inclusive of all ages and ethnicities. “So often, the expats who move here separate themselves from the local population, Yvette explained. “With increased tourism in the area, and more expats moving here, the cultures are more secluded than ever. We want both locals and expats to feel represented and welcome.”

Art can be a communication beyond language.