‘We believe art heals’ | Mural in the works on the south side honors 53 migrants who perished in semi-truck tragedy

Precinct 1 Bexar County Commissioner Rebeca Clay-Flores allocated the funds for the mural project in partnership with the non-profit Luminaria.

SAN ANTONIO — A mural honoring the 53 migrants who died in an abandoned semi-truck on San Antonio’s south-side almost two years ago is almost finished.

The project is a partnership between Precinct 1 Bexar County Commissioner Rebeca Clay-Flores and local non-profit Luminaria. 

The mural titled “Sacrificios” is located at Mission County Park where a team of artists have been working to illustrate a “symbol of remembrance and a call to action, encouraging the community to reflect on the human cost of migration and the need for compassion and understanding.” 

“It was important for me to have a memorial in their memory so that we don’t forget and that we realize we have a responsibility,” said Clay-Flores. “I wanted it to be here definitely on the south side so that we as a community when we come here to this park and we celebrate things, that we remember that life is fragile and life is valuable.” 

On June 27, 2022, 53 migrants loss their lives along Quintana Road. First responders discovered men, women and children deceased in sweltering conditions within a semi-truck. It marked the worst human smuggling event in known U.S. history. Authorities arrested several people in connection with the case. 

The community established a makeshift memorial along Quintana Road, which is filled with large crosses, flowers and photos of the victims. 

The mural stays away from showing the dark imagery from the tragedy and instead focuses on illuminating the sacrifices made by migrants who travel thousands of miles in hopes of a more prosperous future. 

“We believe art heals,” said Yadhira Lozano, executive director of Luminaria. “We want people to come here and have a conversation and bring those stories of migration of how did your ancestors get here.”

Commissioner Clay-Flores’s office funded the $40,000 project for the Luminaria Mural Team, which consists of Adrian De La Cruz, Andrea Rivas and Mauro de la Tierra.

The mural is expected to be completed by Monday, Feb. 5.

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