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Friday, May 24, 2024

Fort Collins’ newest mural "Para Mi Familia" honors Hispanic Heritage Month

The latest mural added to the vibrant community of Fort Collins is a piece that pays homage to Latinos and the women who help keep their Hispanic households and communities unified. “Para Mi Familia” was unveiled in correlation with Hispanic Heritage Month along College Avenue near Colorado State University in Fort Collins.

The painting, located on the north wall of Los Tarascos restaurant, was first envisioned by Betty Aragon-Mitotes. She approached the City of Fort Collins seeking an opportunity to commission a mural that would honor the longstanding Latino community in Fort Collins.

Artist Armando Silva, known as Artmando, was selected to design and complete the mural.

“(Northern Colorado Latinos) are hard-working, proud, fun,” Silva said. “There is a lot of pride. There is a strong work ethic and a purpose for doing what they are doing.”

Silva was tasked with capturing the heart of northern Colorado Hispanics through his mural. It took him several weeks of work to complete and was unveiled on Friday during a community gathering.

“To see the idea come to fruition, I can’t even explain how proud I am,” Aragon-Mitotes said. “We are honoring the Hispanic and Mexican beet workers, the immigrant people that are still working in the fields today. That rich history and culture, we need to make sure we continue to educate the community on our place in history.”

Silva decided to place a woman prominently at the center of the mural he entitled, “Para Mi Familia.” That translates to “for my family” in English.

Silva told CBS News Colorado’s Dillon Thomas that it was important for him to focus the mural on the strength and power of women in the Hispanic culture.

“In the Hispanic culture, la mama is in charge. She is the one holding it together, making sure things are taken care of, that love is in the air, and that a warm plate is served for you and looks after you and the family. We can all find comfort in that,” Silva said.

“I thought it was so brilliant to put a woman as the emphasis, the focal point,” Aragon-Mitotes said.

Fort Collins residents passing by took a moment to stop and admire not only the artwork but the message behind the mural as well.

“To see something that embraces diversity in our community is worthwhile, it is time for that kind of stuff,” said Mark Dinkelman, a Fort Collins resident.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 12% of Fort Collins residents are Hispanic or Latino. Aragon-Mitotes said it was important to make sure her community is represented through artwork in Fort Collins.

“This is what, for me, diversity and inclusion is all about. Coming together to make something beautiful happen,” Aragon-Mitotes said.

“What seeds are you planting? What are you doing for the future generation? How are you leveraging the stories and sacrifices of those who came before you?” Silva said. “‘Para Mi Familia’ reminds us to be proud of who we are, and what we represent. Whether we honor those who have come before us, or we lay down the foundation for those after us, we do it Para Mi Familia.”

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