Behind the Mural: 'A la Esperanza' comic book

CHICAGO (WLS) -- It's a mural that students at Benito Juarez Academy walk past almost every single day with a story that's unfamiliar to many.

"I didn't think there was that much behind one mural, I didn't know that all this had happened and that like occurred during that time, " said former Benito Juarez student, Gabriel Tlatelpa. He added, "and here I am just seeing the mural and yet there is so much history behind it."

Tlatelpa is one of the young artists using his talents to spread awareness of the mural's story with a comic book.

"It's for the students and any future generations to come," shared the 18-year-old.

"People come visit the campus and look at the mural, they're left wondering what's the meaning behind the symbolism and who make it, well we hope to cover that in our comic," said Steve Vidal, teacher at Benito Juarez Academy.

Vidal spearheaded the "A La Esperanza" mural comic book project. The high school teacher said the involvement of students was vital.

"We had students involved in the creation of the mural so it just makes so much sense to continue that example of how art has engaged and continues engaging youth in making sure they leave a mark," he said.

Vidal and his students are currently in the sketching process and hope to release the 25-page comic book by the end of March. Their biggest goal is to make sure the people and the story behind the mural are never forgotten.

"I feel like we should all know where we come from, like where we're going and why it's there," said Benito Juarez senior and comic book artist Bibiana Saucedo.

If you'd like to help fund the Benito Juarez comic book project, visit their website here.
Copyright © 2021 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.