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Mural of Butterfly Symbolizes Journey of Immigrants

“Migration Is Beautiful,” the new theme on the mural on Marcelo Ferrer’s garage, is meant to counteract the negative rhetoric about immigration.
“Migration Is Beautiful,” the new theme on the mural on Marcelo Ferrer’s garage, is meant to counteract the negative rhetoric about immigration.
“Unleashing Peace” had roots in the Mayan culture.                     RoundTable photos
“Unleashing Peace” had roots in the Mayan culture.  RoundTable photos"
 

The monarch butterfly catches the eye first. Seeming about to alight on a sea of pastels, it covers about a third of the garage door in the 1700 block of Crain Street. The words, “Migration Is Beautiful” seem to fit for this time of year, when the monarch butterflies return to their home in Mexico.

The story there is both straightforward and subtle, said Marcelo Ferrer, as he prepared to put finishing touches on the door last week. The monarch butterfly has come to symbolize immigration from Mexico.

“I see the monarch butterfly’s life cycle as a metaphor of people’s migration patterns that we see today,” Mr. Ferrer said.

A notch in the top of one wing indicates the hardship involved in migration. “It is meant to give a subtle reminder of the toll such a journey takes on those who come here,” Mr. Ferrer said.

The butterflies now making their journey to Mexico are not the same ones that arrived here this year, Mr. Ferrer said, but descendants of earlier winged migrants.

“The monarch makes an amazing journey from Mexico north to U.S. and Canada and back to Mexico, which takes four generations. It is the great-grandchildren that make it back to Michoacán, Mexico, to wait for warmer weather up north and then start the whole cycle once again. Many of us...

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