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What do you do with thousands of discarded bottle caps?  Coke, Pepsi, Beer – you name it, there are thousands upon thousands of bottle-caps discarded every day across the world.

What does this have to do with St. Francis of Assisi and the Little Mexican town of San Pancho, AKO San Francisco?

The mural of Saint Francis in the centre of San Pancho/San Francisco Mexico

The mural of Saint Francis in the centre of San Pancho/San Francisco Mexico

This handsome mural graces the square across from the church in the centre of San Pancho/San Francisco.  Why the two names?  I don’t know!  I will try to find out when I visit next February.

The riddle of the connection with bottle-caps I can clear up.

There is an artist in San Pancho who makes these murals using discarded bottle-caps. The mural of San Francisco (Saint Francis for you anglos) is made of thousands of bottle-caps that have been carefully chosen for their colour and pattern to create this scene.  They are painstakingly attached to the repainted wall by the artist and his helpers.

Close-up of St. Francis Mural

Close-up of St. Francis Mural

This is a small part of the mural – an eagle image I believe

Detail of St. Francis Mural

Detail of St. Francis Mural

See how carefully the caps have been selected and arranged

The heart of the art of St. Francis mural

The heart of the art of St. Francis mural

Some things do seem to go better with Coke, but beer seems to outnumber the pop when you look at the entire wall.

When we were there last March the artist was busy on a project with the local school.  He had persuaded students to help to gather and sort piles of bottle-tops.  Here are some below.

So what do you do with hundreds of used beer-bottle caps?

So what do you do with hundreds of used beer-bottle caps?

The artist has created the mural for the school walls and is using the children to help with the creation – including applying the caps to the wall.

Making a start on the school mural at San Pancho

Making a start on the school mural at San Pancho

Here is the beginning of one wall

The process

The process

Later we see the figure taking shape.

The painstaking work continues in the heat of the day

The painstaking work continues in the heat of the day

Meanwhile an assistant is busy filling in this image on another wall.

The mural in progress

The mural in progress

We can see the design taking shape.

The Artist at work on the school mural

The Artist at work on the school mural

We were only in San Pancho for the day – so we are looking forward to returning in 2016 to see the finished project.

What a great way to turn garbage (trash to Americans, and rubbish to Brits) into something that beautifies the neighbourhood.  They are also teaching the school-children about recycling and expanding their creative imaginations.

I take my cap off to the artist, and a few more on a hot day in San Pancho.  When I return I will be sure to get his name.  Curt, if you read this post, can you let us know the name of the artist? Gracias Señor!

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