Saturday, July 13, 2024

New murals add color to downtown San Pedro Town


A set of new colorful murals were recently painted in downtown San Pedro. Houston, Texas-based artists Alex Roman Jr. (donkeeboy), his mother Sylvia Roman (donkeemom), and two other talented artists, Franky Cardona and Floyd Mendoza III, were the masters behind the artwork. The new murals depict culture, traditions, wildlife and promote hope and the importance of perseverance and hard work.

Alex and his mother painted two murals at the start of Barrier Reef Drive next to the Holiday Hotel. Sylvia gave life to the mural featuring Ixchel, the Maya goddess of the moon, love, gestation, medicine, and the textile arts. The goddess is also said to have been the wife of the sun god Ak Kin. Sylvia found it fitting as the island once hosted a sizeable Maya civilization. In fact, most of the island is considered an archaeological site, with the archaeological site south of town, Marco Gonzalez, standing as a testament to the ancient Maya presence on the island. Besides the moon and stars, Sylvia added a rabbit to the Ixchel mural representing the Maya entity.

The other artistic work done by Alex is the word ‘Sueños,’ meaning dreams. It features the face of a donkey with a cap and a sleepy but determined stare. Alex’s ‘Sueños’ work is in tandem with a project dubbed The Sueños Group. According to Alex, the donkey face in the painting depicts the need to never give up on dreams, to be stubborn, and work hard for your goals.

These two murals join others in the same area where the mother and son team previously collaborated. The other murals show Belize’s cultural ambassador, the late Andy Palacio, Belize’s national bird, the Keel-Billed Toucan, and a happy smiley face depicting the name BELIZE.

Another new mural showcases one of Belize’s most famous animals, the jaguar, painted outside of The Phoenix Hotel on Pescador Drive. The mural shows a beautiful jaguar sitting in the Belizean rainforest. Jaguars are a protected species in Belize, with the only reserve dedicated to its protection worldwide. Cardona and Mendoza III created the interactive mural previously done next to it by Alex, which features a golf cart and a caricature with the face of a donkey holding a fishing rod.

The artists invite all islanders and visitors to enjoy the murals and take photos, even tagging them as Alex on Instagram as @Donkeeboy and Sylvia as @Donkeemom. You can also visit their website Cardona’s Instagram is @frankycardona, and his work can be viewed on his website, while Mendoza III can be found as @mendoza.creates.

The murals in San Pedro by these Houston artists started in November 2021, when Alex, his mother, and other family members visited the island at the invitation of island philanthropists and entrepreneurs Kelly McDermott Kanabar and Mukul Kanabar. At that time, they painted two murals. Sylvia painted the Tejano music singer Selena, and Alex did a masterpiece featuring the late American rapper and actor Tupac (2Pac) in Picasso style. They continue to beautify the exterior wall of a warehouse building on Seagrape Drive south of downtown San Pedro.


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