Let’s Paint the town red…or blue or green or yellow…

Specific destinations bring to mind different colors. A trip to a Colorado mountain town during snow season may envision bright, eye squinting whites, Steel Mountain grey and deep clear blue or a trek to a jungle in Belize, might conjure up dark greens, light greens and warm humid browns.

When you visit Rocky Point, well, what color do you see?

Do you see the Sea of Cortez sparkling blues, warm soft carmel sands and black rugged volcanic reefs? Or do you see the color of the bright houses perched on the cliffs of Cholla Bay? Maybe it’s the hand woven blankets gleaming with every primary shade on the color wheel, bright multicolored vases and Mexican plates with red chilies carried up and down the soft sand by beach vendors, catching your eye even if you don’t want to look, the dazzling colors begging for your attention.

And when you go experience the  shops of Old Port and Cholla Mall it might be the bright inviting displays of vivid colors beckoning to all those who pass by to come in and take a look at the unique curios for sale.

Yes, Puerto Peñasco is full of color, from the colorful bowls of limes, avocado green guacamole, red ripe tomatoes and purple and orange sunsets.

Colors are everywhere.

Color can change the look and feel of any town. Color, or lack of, is generally the first thing visitors notice when driving into town. The initial impression entering a town can be influenced by the landscape and the colors.

Take for example a small town in Maine, suffering dramatically because of the economy, and the recent recession. Unemployment is at an all-time high, businesses and shops are closed, peeling paint is everywhere, and graffiti covers concrete buildings and unfinished structures are falling down along the main road into town.

One local person an artist, decided to make a difference and painted her house 3 bright colors. Folks thought she was crazy. Crazy, then talked to other struggling business owners and residents at a town hall, explaining her idea of painting the town bright colors to help promote tourism. Many scowled, but enough people decided why not? Why not give it a try. So, they raised money for paint, gathered volunteers and started with painting their bright colors on one street of unfinished buildings and closed deserted shops. The transformation was so inviting, empty businesses got rented out and slowly new ventures starting popping up. The whole town got involved and the building landscape was painted a variety of colors.

You can imagine what happened next, a few articles and press video’s about the town and the tourists finally made a stop. Yes, they veered off the beaten path to explore a town, they once would have driven by. Taking pictures, spending money, helping the once little dying township have life again. Tourism created more jobs, changed the towns perspective, changed lives…All this from a little paint, a lot of color.

All around the world, cool colorful cities exist full of color. If you ever wandered to Guanajuato, Mexico or San Miguel, Mexico you would be agreeing with this article. Both towns are alive with passionate colors, colorful houses, buildings and art. It’s just one of the many virtues of the two cities, but none the less included in every travelers description of the town.

One of my favorite colorful destinations in Italy is Cinque Terra, it’s a cluster of five little towns along the Italian Riviera, serviced only by train and boat, these beautiful little coastal villages hug the rugged cliffs and whether you approach them hiking on a cliff-side trail or arriving by boat, the myriad of colors of all the village buildings in Riomaggiore or Monterosso-al-Mare will take your breath away, and almost stop your heart as you come around the bend. These colorful little towns are featured in photographs, portraits and travel magazines all over the world.

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A community needs to be an eye catching destination, so why not splash color all over our buildings next to our beautiful sea, or at least add a little more to the ones that need it. Street art also brings out the local flavor, bringing culture to life. Rocky Point is lucky to have some beautiful murals and art work along Benito Juarez! Why not have a community push for more local art all over our city and showcase our local talented artists on empty buildings. Have a contest. This will add color and more culture to our city.

On Sandy Beach, before Playa Bonita, on the Public Beach there is a single street of small buildings visible from the sea. One owner painted the front building a bright green, it looks inviting, a little restaurant, accessible form the sand, it makes you want to wander back further, until you see the many empty buildings behind it, looming grey concrete, unpainted, unwelcoming. Perhaps someone could start with that little strip of grey concrete, if it was all painted vivid inviting colors, it would become an interesting destination, and everyone would walk up there to shop, have a drink or try an ice cream bar. Color would be the invitation to bring everyone up and off the beach.

Color could also help the newly paved Calle 13 and Old Port, why not complete the picture and paint all the unpainted and faded buildings bright Mexican colors, showcasing, shopping and restaurants, tourists would want to walk all the streets of Old Port and stop and visit.

Cities of color are attention getters and stamp photographic pictures in our mind forever,  so why not experiment and try it out? Challenge the organizers, launch an “add color to our city” campaign, ask businesses owners, paint your grey concrete buildings finished or unfinished in bright beautiful colors. Let’s brighten up the place, and if and when cruise ships come in or just those checking out Rocky Point fly in, they will be surprised at our colorful little seaside town. Let’s overwhelm them with color, splashed all over the town.

Of course, it’s just one idea, but why not paint the grey concrete buildings in our town? It would certainly add more life and celebration to Rocky Point, promote tourism, and make everyone feel good.


7 reasons why we should paint the town with more color

1. Internationally towns with colorful palettes draw more attention, more photographs

2. Let the press have something to talk about! Go ahead let media feature our town creating something exciting and fun.

3. Community development, community pride, community enhancement.

4. Showcase emerging and local artists exciting works on brightly colored buildings

5. Bright colors promote positivity, safety and happiness.

6. Make the children happy, children love bright colors, aren’t we all kids at heart

7. Promote tourism, create a new scene, another reason to come visit!!

And, speaking of color there is a fun run coming up on March 30th, “Toma Color” raising funds for the new Dialysis Center and DIF (Integral Family Development).

It’s a 5k color run, meaning on various stops along the route (Sam’s Club to Old Port) participants will be doused with a variety of color. All entry fees go to the Dialysis Center and include a t-shirt and a hat. Register at Puerto Viejo Café located in Old Port (across from Thrifty).

Sounds like a bright colorful start to me. Let’s keep thinking of ways to promote and brighten the town of Rocky Point!!

Anita Kaltenbaugh is the Mexico travel examiner at examiner.com and author of the book “Travel Secrets- Insider guide to planning, affording and taking more vacations” available on the Kindle, and Amazon.com.