things that matter

How the Power of Art is Being Used to Fight Crime in Mexico

Mural Palmitas
Germen Crew

Art can be a very powerful thing. Just ask the residents of Palmitas in Pachuca, Mexico.

Palmitas is a small neighborhood with a big crime problem.

Palmitas Google Maps

Located in the Mexican state of Hidalgo, violent crimes have plagued the 457-family community.

Pachuca’s government has attempted to decrease violent crime in several ways.

Surveillance cameras and increased police presence have been implemented to curb violent crime. But you know what they say: if you look good, you’ll feel good.

Enter bad-ass street artists, Germen Crew.

Germen Crew

The municipal government in Pachuca hired the street artists to help beautify Palmitas.

First, they painted the neighborhood white.


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This is what it looked like when they were done.

palmitas-white Palmitas mural Palmitas mural Pachuca

One word.

Awesome Supernatural

Now, Palmitas is home to the largest mural of its kind in Mexico.

Enrique Gomez, one of the members of Germen Crew, told Quartz: “The neighborhood is not the same as when we arrived. Now you can breathe colors everywhere.”

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The neighborhood’s new paint job is already being recognized around the world.

Want to see more? Here’s a video of German Crew working on the Palmitas mural.

Credit: Yoan Beltrán / YouTube

Do you think street murals can help rehab the image of a neighborhood? mitú wants to know. Let us know in the comments below!

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Goodbye SATs, Hello College!

things that matter

Goodbye SATs, Hello College!

Why didn’t this happen when I applied to college?! Turns out a number of accredited schools will no longer require freshman applicants to submit their SAT or ACT test scores for admissions purposes. You know what that means… no more giving up Saturday mornings to SAT prep-courses.

George Washington University is the latest to drop the SAT/ACT requirement.

This makes GWU the largest college to (finally!) get rid of standardized testing. The changes will go into effect on August 1, and will apply to all students, EXCEPT athletes and homeschooled students.

Another 850+ accredited colleges have also embraced the new policy. Hallelujah! 

University of Texas, Arizona State University, University of Nevada, Cal State Los Angeles and Cal State Northridge, to name a few. For a list of ranked schools, click here.

This means, you can start living life again.

READ: Life after College: Expectation vs. Reality

But why the change?

Schools are choosing to go test-optional in an effort to recruit an equally strong student body. According to TIME, standardized tests tend to “disadvantage minority students and students from poor socioeconomic backgrounds.”

And let’s face it, test-taking isn’t anyone’s forte.

But let’s not get too ambitious…

What other changes would you like to see in the college admissions process? Let us know below.