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Outdoor Mural at La Manzana Center Gets New Life, Larger Footprint

Muralist Guillermo “Yermo” Aranda is the creative drive behind scores of murals around Santa Cruz County

Yermo Aranda heads up a major restoration project of a 1993 mural on the West Lake Avenue side of La Manzana Center in Watsonville. PHOTO: TARMO HANNULA

Work began in late October on a major restoration of a long-standing outdoor mural at the La Manzana Community Resources center.

Muralist Guillermo “Yermo” Aranda, who is the creative drive behind scores of murals around Santa Cruz County, Salinas and San Diego, said it was time to refresh the paint on the 1993 Mural along 18 West Lake Ave. in Watsonville.

Scads of young people and adults joined Aranda on the scaffolding to bring new life and color to the mural as well as add two new panels, making the overall piece more than 70 feet by 12 feet.

“We had a great showing of people working out here,” Aranda said. “We’ll probably be out here, on and off, for about eight weeks. It will look great when it all comes together.”

The Parks and Recreation Commission approved the project, which was submitted by Community Bridges.

Aranda created the mural concept design and painted the original work. He is originally from San Diego and comes from a family of musicians, painters and craftsmen. He completed his bachelor’s degree at Cal State Monterey Bay in 2010 where he majored in integrated studies with a focus on fine arts and communication design.

The mural is comprised of five panels, each with its own set of meanings:

  • The Sacredness of Mother and Child 
  • The Empowerment and Sacrifices of Women and Mothers 
  • Education and Resiliency 
  • The Spirit and Celebration
  • The Lord of Light and the Abundance of the Earth Project Timeline
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