As of August 16, Covid-19 has killed 772,000  people worldwide and in South and Central America several countries have been especially hard-hit by the virus including Brazil, Mexico, and Perú. With a population of 33 million inhabitants, Peru has now reported over 22,000 deaths and some feel this figure might not reflect the true number of deaths as many have gone unreported.

While health workers of all nations desperately seek a vaccine to contain the crisis, many citizens have started focussing on ways to pay tribute to victims who lost their lives to the disease. Such is the case of Peruvian muralist Daniel Manrique Barzola, who has been painting portraits of local victims of Covid-19 on the walls of his neighborhood to send a message about the impact the pandemic has had on his community.

Daniel explains that the initiative arose out of concern for his fellow citizens―many of whom initially refused to comply with sanitary measures―and the need to alert them to the actual danger posed by the virus. To do this, he decided to start painting murals to let people know about all those in the neighborhood who had died from the disease. Now the streets of Rímac, Lima are beginning to fill with portraits of the deceased; on one wall the face of a 20-year-old young man, on another a 72-year-old woman, and sadly, the face of his niece on another. All victims to the recent virus.

Because he has been painting in the community for more than 22 years and is well-known to his neighbors, his message has surely helped slow the spread of the disease. To help deal with his own great sense loss and to assist in healing his community, he has started visiting the homes of the relatives of the deceased and giving them small paintings of the loved ones they have lost.