Artist helps migrants through art

Alfredo Gutiérrez wants migrants to know that they are not alone

Mexican artist helps migrants through art
The coyote sculpture was made using recycled wood - Photo: Juan Manuel Blanco/EFE
English 01/09/2019 13:54 EFE Mexico City Paula Ericsson Actualizada 14:10

Leer en español

A Mexican artist's large sculpture in the shape of a coyote, also a word used for people smugglers, provides United States-bound migrants with water, a map of their intended route, a list of shelters, and even medicine.

And it does so with no strings attached.

"This is a coyote that's there to give, not take away. It's a way to extend a hand to a migrant who gets off the train confused, who doesn't know where to go," Alfredo "Libre" Gutiérrez, a native of the northwestern border city of Tijuana, said in a telephone interview with EFE.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

"La Transportapueblos" está en Tapachula, sin duda uno de los proyectos más contundentes en los que he trabajado últimamente, es la tercera versión del concepto del Transportapueblos, esta vez una Coyote y su cachorro que representan a las miles familias, niñxs acompañados y no acompañados que se ven forzados a dejar su lugar de origen en busca de una mejor vida. Un proyecto en colaboración con @sinfronterasiap , migrantes de Cuba, Honduras, Guatemala y Mexicanas y Mexicanos que creen en el proyecto y en apoyar a otro ser humano que necesita información, orientación y ayuda. “La Transportapueblos” es una estructura de 3.64 metros de altura, 5.30m de largo y 1.75m de ancho. La escultura por uno de sus lados indica la ruta que necesita conocer el viajero para ejercer su derecho a migrar, por el otro lado está un listado de los albergues que existen en México para brindar ayuda a población en tránsito. En su cola la gente podrá depositar donaciones, funciona como un pequeño centro de acopio. El objetivo de “La Transportapueblos” es convertirse en una pieza simbólica que le haga un homenaje al pueblo Tapachulteco por ser una ciudad que acoge a miles de personas migrantes al año y que históricamente ha sido reconocida como un punto de convergencia de culturas, donde la diversidad se ha convertido en eje rector. La coyota promueve la aplicación web “Contigo Sin Fronteras" que busca informar y asesorar a las personas antes, durante y en su estancia en México sobre sus derechos, rutas, peligros, albergues, organizaciones de ayuda, así como información para lograr una integración en México. Gracias especiales al gran equipo internacional de trabajo que estuvo entregando toda su energía #CarlosPonce @danielaceoro17 @davidarrazate @fernandabenfield #Jeyminmendoza #Elias #Aaron #Alex #Jairo #ElRaza @ffcc_tap a la sociedad civil y al ayuntamiento de Tapachula por ayudarnos en todo lo que necesitamos “Migrante no es quien viaja a cumplir sueños, Migrante es quien permite que los sueños viajen con él” JEYMIN MENDOZA. Nicaragua #librehem #latransportapueblos #escultura #sculpture #teamwork #metal #madera #welding #latinosunidos

A post shared by Libre Gutierrez (@librehem) on

Gutiérrez has been making drawings of coyotes in several areas of the country as a show of solidarity with undocumented migrants, but he came up with the idea for the sculpture a year ago when he began working with these people at a shelter in Tacubaya, southwest of downtown Mexico City.

The sculpture, located at the Lecheria station in the central state of Mexico, is made of recycled wood, stands 2.6 meters tall, contains a map of Mexico on its left side and a list of the 85 migrant shelters in 21 Mexican states with their addresses and telephone numbers on its right side.

The goal of this work of art, which costs between MXN $60,000-70,000 (between USD $3,218-$3,755), depending on transportation costs, is to let migrants know that they are not alone and that someone is concerned about their plight.

"I've been able to hear migrants' stories over the past few months. Many of them don't know which states they have to cross to get to the United States, and that's why I decided to put the map of Mexico on the coyote and a list of 85 shelters to facilitate their journey," Gutiérrez said.

The coyote's tail also offers a space for people to leave water or medicine.

The artist said he planned to make several of the sculptures and place them near stations where a northbound cargo train known as "La Bestia" stops. The idea is for them to serve as a link between local residents and Central American migrants crossing Mexico from south to north aboard the train.

Undocumented Central American migrants who undertake the hazardous journey across Mexico in hopes of reaching the U.S. are vulnerable to exploitation by traffickers.

They also are often preyed upon by corrupt Mexican officials and by gangs who kidnap them or try to recruit them into their ranks or target them in extortion schemes.
 

gm
 

 

Video