On March 12, students in Diana Moss’ and Carmela Tejada’s Spanish classes visited San Francisco’s Mission District to take a walking tour of the murals in the neighborhood’s Latino Cultural District. Students previously had studied about Hispanic art, and in particular about the importance of murals in Latino communities.
Prior to the trip, upper school art teacher Pilar Agüero-Esparza presented a lesson to both classes in Spanish about her own work as a muralist. She painted a series of murals entitled, “La vida en dichos” (“Life in refrains”), which features symbols and references to the history of the Latino community in the Santa Clara Valley. Her murals are displayed at the Biblioteca Latinoamericana branch of the San Jose Public Library in downtown San Jose.
At the Mission District’s Precitas Eyes Mural Gallery, students learned about the history of mural painting and important Mexican muralists. Moss was especially proud when her student, Arjun Virmani, grade 10, called out some facts he’d learned doing a report about Mexican muralist José Clemente Orozco. Students then learned about the history of the historically Latino Mission District and about the changes the area has undergone and is currently undergoing as housing costs rise. The students walked through Balmy Alley, a segment of the Calle 24 Latino Cultural District filled with colorful murals, while a docent and artist from the gallery explained each to them in detail. Following the tour, the students enjoyed some authentic Latin food, in particular tacos, in the various restaurants nearby.