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A group of artists known as the Germ Collective have spent 14 months turning the hillside neighborhood of Las Palmitas into a giant, colorful mural in an effort to bring the working-class “barrio” together and change its gritty image. Working hand-in-hand with residents, muralists have painted the facades of 200 homes bright lavender, lime green, incandescent orange — hues more commonly found in a bag of Skittles than in the drab, cement-and-cinderblock neighborhoods where many of Mexico’s poor live. Seen from afar, the individually painted houses combine to form a cohesive, if abstract, swirly rainbow design. Bright stripes that begin on one wall run across several homes before swooping into graceful curlicues.

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