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The Journey To Healing: Symbolic Mural Painted At Escondido Recuperative Center

Mauro Alvarez, a local artist, stands on a lift and paints a bird on a mural at Interfaith's recuperative center in Escondido, June 10, 2021.
Tania Thorne
Mauro Alvarez, a local artist, stands on a lift and paints a bird on a mural at Interfaith's recuperative center in Escondido, June 10, 2021.

Interfaith Community Services has been transforming a run down Escondido motel into a recuperative center for people in need. Now the organization is using art as another tool to help inspire the people they help.

A large, colorful mural now covers what was once a blank and bland wall with images of renewal and breaking free.

The Journey To Healing: Symbolic Mural Painted At Escondido Recuperative Center
Listen to this story by Tania Thorne.

Freelance artist Mauro Alvarez created the mural. He described those images and their meaning: “The phoenix, you rise from your ashes. The birds represent every step of the program, there’s more than 12 birds because after the program, you’re still battling. It goes from dark to light because after addiction it gets brighter,” he said. “Every step of the program you're one step closer to freedom. Once you break the chains of whatever is holding you back from succeeding in life, then nothing will stop you and it's beautiful sunsets, beautiful colors.”

VIDEO: The Journey To Healing: Symbolic Mural Painted At Interfaith in Escondido

Alvarez worked with Interfaith staff and residents to create the mural. But for him, it had a deeper meaning.

“I’m also a person who battles addiction, but I’m from the streets of Escondido. So my thing was, I’m gonna give back to the people where I come from, I want to show them that there is light at the end of the tunnel or after addiction,” Alvarez said.

“It’s so much more amazing than we ever thought possible and it's gonna be an inspiration to our residents and people who have gone through really, really, hard times,” said Greg Angela, the CEO of Interfaith Community Services.

Anglea said The Abraham and Lillian Turk Recuperative Care Center is still under construction, but this colorful addition will serve as a tool on people’s journey at Interfaith.

“We just described what we’re doing. We're gonna be a place for people coming out of hospitals, people who are overcoming homelessness and need a place to stay and heal. We shared that and then he brought his artistic vision,” he said.

Symbolic mural at Interfaith's recuperative center in Escondido. June 10, 2021.
Tania Thorne
Symbolic mural at Interfaith's recuperative center in Escondido. June 10, 2021.

The mural is one of the biggest in the city of Escondido, and took about a week to complete, although there are still some minor details left.

A reveal party for the mural and the work at the property will be held on June 26th.

Interfaith acquired the motel -turned-transformational center in Escondido last year. The organization is now being considered to operate Oceanside’s first homeless shelter and will be discussed at Oceanside’s next council meeting.