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  HOME | Central America

Guatemalan Muralist Pays Tribute to Heroes Fighting the Pandemic



GUATEMALA CITY – Guatemalan muralist Kevin Perez paid tribute to the doctors and health personnel who have become “true heroes” in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, which has left 582 people dead and 14,540 infections since the first official case in March.

Under the pseudonym Tepeu, which in addition to his second surname means “God of Heaven” in Q’iche, Perez painted the face of a doctor with a white mask that in the middle has a quetzal, the Guatemalan national bird, on a wall located about steps from the La Verbena cemetery, designated by the Government for those killed by COVID-19 in the capital.

According to Perez, when he received a call to ask if he was interested in painting a wall of a municipal clinic, he did not hesitate twice. He made the sketch and was approved by the auxiliary mayor’s office in charge of zone 7, in the west of the city map.

“I tried to see what I could paint and I decided to paint the doctor and something more national like the representation of the quetzal,” he told EFE, adding that it is “a type of tribute for doctors” due “to the context of the pandemic in Guatemala.”

The mural, 30 meters long by two meters high, has caught the attention of local residents and passers-by, motorists, transport personnel and even families themselves who come to the main gate to access the La Verbena cemetery in dismiss their loved ones, victims of coronavirus, from the street without being able to enter by protocol.

The highest number of deaths from COVID-19 in a single day in Guatemala had been registered on June 19 when authorities reported 34 deaths in 24 hours, but this Tuesday, in the latest update of cases from the Ministry of Health, were recorded 35.

Tuesday was also the worst day in relation to infections, since 771 were reported with just 1,090 tests carried out, so that 70 percent of the swabs tested positive.

The rise in deaths from coronavirus in Guatemala, which is at its peak according to authorities, began on June 3, when 20 deaths were reported in one day, much higher than the May average, which hovered around four daily deaths and who also never exceeded the barrier of 12 deaths in 24 hours.

At least 12 officials have died from the disease, including ten members of the health system staff.

 

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