Mar 21, 2013. Robert F. Hall students sit in front of the mural they painted with Nicaraguan students on the walls of the Caledon East school’s chapel. The mural features historical figures that made contributions to world peace.
A hand painted mural in Robert F. Hall Catholic Secondary School’s chapel will be a constant reminder of the
school’s cross-cultural collaboration with a group of Nicaraguan students.
For two weeks in February, students from the school and three Nicaraguan students came together to conceptualize, plan, and paint the colourful mural, culminating in a special unveiling ceremony on Feb. 15.
For the first time since the school started its North South Awareness Project, a program that brings Robert F. Hall students to Nicaragua to help learn from and give back to communities in that country, the school was able to bring three Nicaraguan students back with them to help create the work of art.
“The seed that was planted way, way back 20 years ago, has now come to fruition,” said the school’s Chaplaincy Leader Brenda Holtkamp.
The Mural, which spans three walls within the chapel, features historical figures that have contributed to peace and justice action in the world. They are surrounded by elements of the universe – stars, the earth, and different planets – with a dove, a universal symbol of peace, in the centre.
The figures selected represent a wide selection of leaders from across the globe, ranging from Martin Luther King, Jr., an activist and leader of the Civil Right Movement in the United States, to Rigoberta Menchu, a Guatemalan indigenous rights activist and the first indigenous person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.
After nearly two decades of Robert F. Hall students taking a trip to Nicaragua, this was the first year Nicaraguan students were able to make the trip to Caledon East.
Three Nicaraguan students were supposed to come to the Caledon East school last year, but just three days before they were set to arrive, the Canadian government denied their entrance into the country.
Holtkamp encouraged students to stop into the chapel in the years to come.
“Let the artwork become part of you,” she said. “Let our solidarity with Nicaragua through this art bear fruit in your hearts.”
Historical figures spanning the mural from left to right includes: Martin Luther King, Jr., an activist and leader of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States; Mohandas Gandhi, an Indian nationalist leader while India was under British rule; Rigoberta Menchu, a Guatemalan indigenous rights activist and the first indigenous person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize; Oscar Romero, an Archbishop in El Salvador who was assassinated while celebrating mass for his outspoken support of the poor people of the country; Mother Teresa, an ethnic Albanian, Indian Roman Catholic nun who founded the Missionaries of Charity. She received the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize; St. Francis of Assisi, an Italian Catholic friar and preacher who founded the men's Franciscan Order and the women’s Order of St. Clare; and Virgin of Guadelupe, an icon of the Virgin Mary and celebrated as a Mexican symbol of Roman Catholicism and mestizaje.
- Information courtesy of Brenda Holtkamp