Chicano Park muralist Salvador Barajas was awarded an honorary degree by Southwestern College in recognition of his contributions to San Diego's Latino and Chicano communities.
Each year, Southwestern College selects a notable community member who has enriched the lives of those around them through their contributions. This year, Barajas was nominated by Southwestern College professor Dr. Max Branscomb.
“It is an honor to nominate Mr. Salvador Barajas for a Southwestern College Honorary Degree,” Branscomb said. “He has made a profound and permanent impact on our community, is an inspiration to members of our college community, and is a hero to countless Chicanos/Latinos as well as people who value multiculturalism in our region.”
Barajas is most known for his murals in Chicano Park, which honor Latino and Chicano historical figures like Benito Juarez, Cesar Chávez and Dolores Huerta.
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Photos: Southwestern College Awards Chicano Park Muralist Salvador Barajas Honorary Degree
The 77-year-old artist was born in Sinaloa, Mexico, and grew up in Tijuana, Mexico, before moving to San Diego in 1961. He first started painting murals in Chicano Park in 1974. One of the first murals Barajas contributed to in Chicano Park was "The Historical Mural," which was renovated in 1988.
Barajas told Southwestern College, it was a true honor to receive the honorary degree because of his strong belief in education and the power it has to change lives.
“I think community colleges are one of the greatest things to happen to minorities,” Barajas said. “Community colleges are crucial to educating and providing job training. You can get a well-paying and high-demand job as soon as you graduate.