Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - This weekend, four local artists will be finishing the murals they've been creating on the perimeter walls of the Puerto Vallarta Regional Hospital as a tribute to the city's medical personnel, who have been working tirelessly to help keep our community safe since the beginning of the pandemic.
The public art project was initiated by the Municipal Government through the Vallarta Institute of Culture (IVC), who organized the Proximidades, muros que abrazan ("Proximities, walls that embrace") contest, in which creative people were invited to express their gratitude to our healthcare workers through art.
According to the director of the IVC, Marina de los Santos, more than 50 sketches of proposed murals were submitted to the contest but, in the end, the judging committee selected only four winners, based on criteria such as the artists' originality, creativity and their mural's message.
She also mentioned that the Vallarta Institute of Culture provided all the materials and supplies necessary for the winners to create their art works, adding that personnel from the Directorate of Property Maintenance and Administration cleaned the area where the murals were to be painted.
Last weekend, with the artists' tributes-in-progress serving as a backdrop, and in the presence of the Regional Hospital directors and staff, Mayor Arturo Dávalos Peña recognized the healthcare workers on the front line who are risking their health and the health of their families by caring for patients who have confirmed or possible coronavirus infection. He thanked them for saving lives, and urged them to continue working as a team to get us through these difficult times.
"I am very pleased to be a part of this contest that recognizes your efforts, and with the artists that were chosen to pay a small tribute to all of you through these works of art," Mayor Dávalos said.
Accompanied by the head of the IVC and Property Maintenance and Administration director, Eugenio González Márquez, the mayor said the municipal government is also supporting the public health sector with the improvements to the Regional Hospital's admissions area, and the rehabilitation of streets near the hospital with federal resources through SEDATU.
He mentioned that within the next few days the governor of Jalisco, Enrique Alfaro, is expected to carry out the second stage of the remodeling of this hospital, in addition to delivering another stage of improvements and equipment for the COVID-19 testing laboratory, thus avoiding the need to send the necessary tests to Guadalajara for analysis.
He said that the health contingency has made very clear the need to assess the public health sector's infrastructure and medical equipment, in addition to the evaluation of nurses, orderlies, doctors and all other health personnel, saying his government recognizes the important work they do every day.
For her part, the director of the IVC Marina de los Santos, said that the four murals that were selected to thank the health sector personnel for their work during this pandemic will be being completed throughout the weekend.
The director of the Puerto Vallarta Regional Hospital, José Guillermo Fuentes Muñoz, thanked the artists for these murals, and said that it is significant to see that the community is grateful for the work carried out by health professionals and is encouraging them to move forward. He urged the people of Puerto Vallarta to follow the sanitary recommendations, such as wearing masks and maintaining healthy distances, among other measures that will help to improve both the economy and health of our city.
Subsequently, Mayor Arturo Dávalos gave recognition to Diana Rodríguez Ramos, Hiram Cruz Piña, Norma Gamaliel Sosa Lara and Celeste Carolina Navarro Chopin "Célula" for their outstanding participation in the "Proximidades" call, in addition to presenting them with an economic stimulus of 5,000 pesos each.