Change Underway In Chapala!

Change Underway In Chapala!

By Susan Elliott

 

anti-graffitiFrom the skateboard park on the malecon right up to the community centre (the old train station), graffiti has been vanishing from buildings, garage doors, walls, houses and even commercial establishments. Armed with only brushes and paint, our grass roots anti-graffiti group has made a noticeable difference in only a short period of time. What started as a tentative call for volunteers on the Chapala.com web board has turned into a committed group of volunteers who meet three mornings per week to restore a specific section of the town to its original condition.

There is much to read on the subject of graffiti. Study after study has shown there is a direct correlation between the presence of graffiti and street crime. The tags are meant to identify territory as well as to recruit new members so it is not simply a case of defacing public or private property.  Some of the tags even mark houses and businesses for future action. They should not be considered art. 

We can combat the ever growing graffiti problem with the only weapon we currently have to use against the taggers; immediate removal of their handiwork. This tactic does work.  When we decided to clean up the skateboard park many people were afraid the taggers would be back in force that very night and wondered aloud if there was any point in cleaning it up.  As it turns out, their fears were unfounded. In fact, it was several days before a tag reappeared but that was promptly removed.  

We have taken our cues from those who have been successful in Ajijic and San Antonio and who have generously shared their time as well as knowledge with us.  We know the problem can be conquered but we can’t do it alone.  Members of the public can help by cleaning their own homes of graffiti, donating hours, supplies, or money for much needed paint or other materials.

Consider recycling any unused paint by donating it to our group. That solves the problem of what to do with the hazardous waste and gives back to the community at the same time.  We will make arrangements for drop-off or pick-up of all donated materials. No time or money to donate? No problem. Spotters are an essential part of this process. Just send us a quick e-mail when a previously clean area sports a new tag.  

For further information on how you can help please e-mail nochapalagraffiti@gmail.com or call 331-721-0823.  If you have been thinking that someone should do something, now is the time.  Susan Elliott

No Chapala Graffiti

Ojo Del Lago
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