Creativity and environmental awareness were combined in spectacular fashion this week when the Peru-based NGO Fundación niños del Arco Iris teamed up with local artists and students at the Alfonso Ugarte school, in the country’s capital, to paint a mural that purifies the air of pollutants.
Every square meter of the 100m2 wall was daubed in photocatalytic paint, breaking up carbon dioxide and harmful nitrogen dioxide compounds that pass over it.
“One meter squared is equivalent to one adult tree!” exclaimed lead artist on the project, Estefanía Cox.
“The complete wall measures a hundred meters so we essentially have a wood of 100 trees.”
Speaking to Latin Correspondent, Fundación Niños del Arco Iris -a charity that provides health and education aid to poverty stricken familias in the Urubamba region of Cusco- was clear that the mural had two aims; firstly, to raise awareness of the importance of protecting the environment and secondly, to send a message to the citizens of Lima that education is vital for giving children the opportunity to realize their dreams – a point beautifully conveyed in the mural’s imagery.
Improving the environment
The project was assisted by the mobile phone company Entel Peru and Asociación Aire, a non-profit group whose mission is to improve the environmental quality of life in Lima through art. Asociación Aire provided the photocatalytic paint for the project and takes its inspiration from similar projects carried out in the Philippines.
Peruvian artists Estefanía Cox, Carolina Paz, Chiara Rosingana y Fania, brought the creative ideas of the students of Alfonso Ugarte school into being.
The result is, as Cox proudly stated testament to, “what can be achieved when private enterprise, educational institutions and art organize together to achieve goals with a social purpose.”