Students at Desert Mirage High School in Thermal helped a professional artist create a colorful mural to inspire fellow students as they return to in-person instruction in the fall.
“I wanted to give my students something to give them a little hope and pride,” said Alma Gonzalez, the school's principal. "This mural was an inspiration for what has happened this year, for all the concerns, for all the problems, for all that we have suffered from COVID this year."
Gonzalez told Telemundo 15's Marco Revuelta that the mural is a representation of her students. Hispanic students with farmworker parents and a big part of immigrant families.
In order to get the project done, Gonzalez contacted a renowned muralist, Lucinda Hinojos, known as "La Morena." Hinojos is from Phoenix, Arizona but just a few years ago, she helped create a mural in the nearby city of Coachella.
Hinojos worked tirelessly for a week to complete the concept. Hinojos explained that the portrait represents a student visualizing and manifesting her dreams. She says used vibrant hues to convey positive energy.
The mural features the face of a young woman in a turquoise long-sleeved shirt. She is surrounded by different concepts that reflect different aspects of the community. Among them, a key, a butterfly, and grapes shoots. These are seen as symbols of opportunity, the dreamers, and the farming community. It's all apart of efforts to encourage students to fight for their dreams.
Desert Mirage students Abril Montellano, America Montellano, and Brian Garcia helped style the creation.
"Me and my sister are immigrants and the butterfly means a lot to us, as well as to other students here," Abril said.
"I think it is a beautiful image that others can see and say, 'Yes I can,'" América said.
"The grapes, because many students here work with their parents and many in the grapes and that is where they get their work," Brian said, discussing his favorite element of the mural.
For Principal Gonzalez, she looks forward to the great return of her students.
"I want them to arrive and be happy as soon as they pass through the fence, through the entrance and see how beautiful it is," Gonzalez said.
Principal Gonzalez said this is the school's first mural but she has plans for others with the help of students.
Meanwhile, Hinojos is set to Paris to create a mural at the embassy. She says she hopes that the students will start the new year motivated and full of inspiration.