Photos: Artists turned an entire Mexican neighborhood into a colorful mural

Color therapy.
Color therapy.
Image: Courtesy of Enrique Gomez/Germen Nuevo Muralismo Mexicano
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A neighborhood in the Mexican city of Pachuca has become the a giant colorful canvas for a collective of urban artists.

More than 200 houses in the hilly neighborhood of Palmitas, one of the most depressed areas of the capital city of Hidalgo, located in the center of the country, have abandoned their worn down, gray facades for a kaleidoscope of bright colors. The mural, located roughly 100 miles outside Mexico City, encompasses roughly 20,000 meters (roughly 215,000 square feet), and has recast the homes of more than 450 families, according to artnet News.

The goal of the project, a partnership between Mexico City-based art group Germen Nuevo Muralismo Mexicano and the local government, is to use art to prevent crime in the neighborhood, involving the community in the production of the murals and creating an attraction that draws more visitors.

Over the course of six months, the artists, known for their street art and graffiti, have been covering the concrete surface of the buildings with colors that reflect the personality of local residents and add a new dimension, Enrique Gómez, one of the members of the art group, tells Quartz.

“The neighborhood is not the same as when we arrived,” Gomez says. “Now you can breathe colors everywhere.”

The second phase of the project, which began more recently, will cover the walls of the neighborhood’s steep streets with figurative murals that allude to the inner history of the neighborhood. That history is being derived from conversations between residents and the artists during their months of work together.