Kunst rettet Leben!

mexican_arts photography artdaily.org
(L-R) Eric Fernando Rvera, Maria Luisa Vaquero, Alam Yael Bernal, Marcos Emiliano Lopez, Marcos Aaron barcenas and Ivete Guadalupe Vallejo (C) pose for pictures during a photo session at the Factory of Arts and Crafts (FARO) (Fabrica de Artes y Oficios, in Spanish) cultural and training centre, in Mexico City. Thousands of young people from the capital's underprivileged neighbourhoods found their way out from violence and drugs through FARO. Omar TORRES / AFP.

Ex-drug addict Fernando Rivera lived through hell as a youth from a poor and violent suburb of Mexico City -- until art saved him. Now, aged 24, he smiles as he shows the mask with a skull design that he wears when he creates paintings with a spray-can. After spending time in a rehab clinic, he ended up at the Arts and Crafts Factory (FARO), a network of municipal centers that have saved thousands like him from lives of drugs and violence.

"It is like being shipwrecked and then finding a place of refuge," he tells AFP.

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