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FirstBank, Habitat beautify Santurce housing project

Amanda Silva, of Habitat and Carmen Pagán of FirstBank watch as the mural takes shape in Santurce.

Amanda Silva, of Habitat and Carmen Pagán of FirstBank watch as the mural takes shape in Santurce.

“Rayo de Luz” (Ray of Light) is the name of the mosaic mural that five low-income families in need of their own home in Santurce created together with a group of volunteers from FirstBank and FirstMortgage.

The project will enhance the multi-family housing project where they will be living. Puerto Rican artists Roberto Biaggi and Celso González designed the 9’ x 10’ abstract work, which features a garden in green and blue shades illuminated by red, orange, and yellow rays of light.

For the design, the artists used 1,200 new and recycled ceramic pieces in colorful, vibrant shades. The artwork will adorn an interior wall in the multi-family building on Del Carmen street in Santurce. The families and volunteers from FirstBank and FirstMortgage attended a talk by Roberto Biaggi about mosaic processes and techniques before beginning the work of installing the piece.

“For FirstBank, it is very important to be involved in this type of community initiative by Habitat for promoting the improvement of people’s quality of life, not only with economic sponsorship but also with the participation of volunteer employee from FirstBank and FirstMortgage,” said Carmen Pagán, senior vice president of Compliance and Community Reinvestment at FirstBank.

The five families chosen by the committee through Habitat’s mutual aid and self-help model are required to do 400 hours of work on the property and take on a 25-year interest-free mortgage to eventually become owners of their homes. The property was bought by Habitat with a donation from the Puerto Rico Housing and Human Development Trust, Walmart, the Plaza Las Américas Foundation and the former Menudo band member Johnny Lozada; it was restored with a donation from Procter & Gamble and Dow. Habitat for Humanity has created 23 housing projects in Puerto Rico.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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