AHS Class of 2018
Fort Buchanan | September 20, 2018
Every high school has some form of a tradition to leave graduating seniors’ legacy. At Antilles High School, seniors paint a mural on the hallway walls to commemorate their time in high school. While most are of favorite times spent, favorite sayings, inspirational quotes, others are of the fond memories. While graduating seniors were enjoying the summer, Kaitly Perez took it upon herself to capture the true essence of the Puerto Rican spirit.
During her senior year, Kaitly experienced one of our nation's most tragic events. Hurricane Maria ravished this American territory destroying everything in its path and killing 2795 people, with many more left homeless. Many people lived without power, running water, and gasoline for months. Kaitly's school, Antilles High School, was closed for three weeks until repairs were completed.
Even upon returning, many students and faculty would endure hardships for months without some necessities. Through all this, people tried to "normalize" their lives. It was this sense of spirit that inspired Kaitly. In speaking with Kaitly about her painting, she said, "even though times were difficult for everyone, it brought us together as one." She explained, smiling from ear to ear, "the painting depicts people playing music and dancing because, while life can be difficult, you can always find a way to celebrate it, even through adverse conditions. All cultures and backgrounds are stronger when coming together in times of a crisis".
Kaitly spent over 60 hours painting, ensuring the mural represented her true feelings. "I wanted to make sure it was meaningful and that everyone would see it with a sense of pride because regardless of the difficulties endured, we made it!"
Kaitly Perez is a freshman in college and continues to paint for a hobby.