The first of 21 murals to celebrate the Pan American Games has been unveiled in Lo Espejo ©Santiago 2023

The first of a series of "Murales Barriales" or neighbourhood murals has been launched as part of a scheme to celebrate the Santiago 2023 Pan American and Para Pan American Games.

The first wall painting, entitled "We can achieve it" was unveiled in Lo Espejo, a province in Greater Santiago close to the Nos-Estación Central railway line.

"With this Santiago 2023 is leaving a mark," artist Alejandro "Niku" Vásquez said.

"Before there was nothing here and now there is the mural and the children playing, it is very gratifying that they take us into account as urban artists, and that we are linked to sport."

Further murals are to appear on walls in 21 communities where the Games are being staged.

"It is transcendental that we do not stay only in sports, but also that we can involve the community, Sport and art make people vibrate and we can express it in works like this one,"  Lo Espejo Mayor Javiera Reyes said.

The first mural to celebrate Santiago 2023 is inspected by Game mascot Fiu ©Santiago 2023
The first mural to celebrate Santiago 2023 is inspected by Game mascot Fiu ©Santiago 2023

The Ceremony was also attended by youngsters from the Ojo de Águila youth football club which uses the area close to the mural.

"It ratifies our commitment to the community and the democratisation of sport," said Santiago 2023 executive director Gianna Cunazza.

"It is something that comes to unite us with the community as our motto is Meeting Point."

"The excitement  is already beginning, we are calm, but alert, and events like inaugurating these murals give life to what one day we said would be a great event," Chilean Olympic Committee President Miguel Ángel Mujica declared.

The Pan American Games are set to open on October 20, and will be followed by the Para Pan American Games which are scheduled to begin on November 17.