FORT COLLINS, Colo. (KDVR) — In the city of Fort Collins, a new piece of art in the heart of that community’s downtown is being considered a milestone for the Hispanic community.
It took years for a mural depicting Latinos’ contributions there to come to life.
It stands in downtown Fort Collins along College Avenue, where there are beautiful pieces of art and other murals. But none of them are like the one painted by artist Armando Silva.
It’s called “Para Mi Familia,” which when translated from Spanish to English, means “for my family.” It helps tell the story of Latinos’ contributions and their longtime presence in this city’s history.
“It’s an attempt to celebrate, to lift up, kind of, the Hispanic community here in Northern Colorado, specifically Fort Collins,” Silva said.
‘Mamas are always the glue of the familia’
The mural depicts a child working in a beet field, with a woman prominently in the middle along with a family.
“Oh my God, when I first saw the mockup for it, it brought tears to my eyes, because I thought about my mom,” said Betty Aragon-Mitotes, co-founder and president of Mujeres De Colores.
The mural calls attention to women’s blood and sweat in the beet fields, all while raising families in Fort Collins.
Beet fields were once prominent here.
“Mamas are always the glue of the familia. And they are the ones that have so much power. How wonderful to empower women and to empower our people that we have a voice in our community,” Aragon-Mitotes said.
The mural is now on the side of Los Tarascos restaurant, owned by Maria Luisa Caballero and her family. Caballero said it represents hardworking immigrants trying to give their families here a better life.
The mural, her daughters say, hits home.
“I asked my dad, ‘Why did you come to the United States?’ He said, ‘Because of you guys. I needed to build a better life for you,’” Priscilla Caballero said.
“When I first saw the draft of the painting, it brought tears to my eyes, because my parents have worked so hard for our family. ‘Para mi familia.’ That is just the biggest message of all for us,” Gema Caballero said.
‘Para Mi Familia’
The artist said it represents where the Latino community has been and what it has to look forward to.
“I hope it’s a moment for reflection. A reference point in somebody’s life,” Silva said.
It is a point and a story that so many here hope is told over and over again.
“Oh, it’s huge. This is the first of its kind, and you know, to be able to have something to honor our Hispanic roots and the beet workers. So we continue to educate how important our place in history is, especially here in Fort Collins,” Aragon-Mitotes said.
The mural can be seen at the Los Tarascos restaurant at 622 S. College Ave. in Fort Collins.