Refugee youth paint a field of inspiration

[easyrotator align=”left”]erf_59_1339214416/erc_23_1340053529[/easyrotator]

On June 16, San Diego muralist Pablo Aztlan Acevedo teamed up with YALLA soccer players to brighten one of Lexington Elementary School’s off-white walls. This is one of many community building activities the El Cajon soccer club has initiated. YALLA (Youth and Leaders Living Actively) helps refugee and immigrant children rebuild their lives through soccer, tutoring and leadership training.

YALLA’s founder Mark Kabban usually leads drills at Wells Field, but this weekend he delegated the mixing of paint and the striping of jerseys. Players, YALLA board members and community volunteers grabbed paintbrushes, scaled ladders and added their own touches to the collaborative work.

The mural features YALLA players sprinting down the field and maneuvering for the ball. “When they see themselves in the art, it’s a legacy that is left and is timeless, showing them that they are a part of the legacy of the future,” Acevedo said.

To Kabban’s surprise, Acevedo included him in the scene directing a young coach. “I think it’s really good that there’s something tangible and visible of the refugee community here on the wall, something beautiful, aesthetic,” Kabban said. “I think that’s really powerful for people to see.”

Some of the children hadn’t had the opportunity to paint before. For Acevedo, it was exciting to see the kids unleash their creativity. For him, the mural is meant to encourage education, fitness and ultimately college: “This is the field of inspiration.”

Comments ( 0 )

    Leave A Comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *