we have also painted an image of Christian students committed to our university, with a history and with a gospel that brings life
The murals of the University San Carlos of Guatemala are an artistic and educational resource for the entire student community. Many of the murals represent historical moments in the life of the university and student leaders.
But they were in desperate need of restoration. So students of GEU, as part of a university arts festival, joined with the Association of Political Science Students to repaint a mural depicting ten student leaders killed during the civil war in 1989.
Ruth Rodas a member of GEU Guatemala, writes: ‘As a student leader of the Christian movement and also as an art and law student I understood the artistic value and the privilege of being part of the restoration of the university´s heritage.
‘Together with a friend of mine, Selvin, we started meeting to study this project. We asked both students and GEU leaders from different academic fields to work on it during their free time.
‘Our acts of service through the restoration of this mural sparked many opportunities for dialogue with the students from the School of Political Science and other schools. “Who are you? Why do you do this? How much are you getting paid?” – these were some of the questions that started our conversations. Also, this project was an opportunity to involve other Christian students to get together and be part of the project. In other words, this was an opportunity to involve others too.
‘Students who are looking for a lasting and real meaning for their lives, students who want to learn more about this Jesus they have heard about; students who are apathetic towards Christianity or Christian students committed to the kingdom of God – we all came together around this work of art. We restored and gave life to the mural that both represents and keeps alive the historical memory of the San Carlos University.
‘When the project was finished, the Political Science students organised a public presentation of the restored murals. There were representatives of many different groups of students and also the student body in general. This was another extraordinary opportunity for GEU to make ourselves known as they publicly thanked us for our service and commitment with the university.
‘Today there are not only restored murals, and with them a restored memory of the history they represent. We have also painted an image of Christian students committed to our university, with a history and with a gospel that brings life to the academic, working, social and personal areas of our lives. We recognize that in order to make the impact deeper, we must clothe ourselves with courage and creative energy. In this way, through art and other means, God is present and real in the university.’