EL Averno, a term of Greek and Roman origin that has come to mean 'hell,' is the Centro Cultural de la Raza of Lima, Peru. The building is located at 236 Jiron Quilca, within the former "red-light" district in downtown Lima. Founded in 1998 during the revolution against ex-President/Dictator Fujimori, El Averno has proven to be an inspiration and has fostered genuine progress in an area once viewed as hopeless.

After 40 years, Mario Torero went back to 300 Quilca Street, the place where he was born and raised, although only the façade of the building remained. Less than half a block away from his birth home, Torero discovered the only colorful murals in the Centro de Lima.

"I had been looking for the crazy artist of Lima because if you go to San Diego and ask for the crazy artist, you get me. There was a general consensus by informed locals that such a title belonged to Herbert Rodriguez."

When Torero made an appointment to visit Rodriguez at his 'studio,' he found himself back in front of those murals on Quilca Street, which, turned out to be the place Herbert Rodriguez co-founded: El Averno. Torero said, "fate seemed to have brought us together, and of course, we immediately connected and subsequently agreed to merge our organizations - AVERNO/FUERZA INTERNATIONAL - for mutual development."

Photo from article printed in Lima Newspaper: Domingo, La Revista de La Republica - 7 de julio del 2002.  Mural entitled "Cristo Che"
Chris Oleata, Rudy "Jones" Sanchez, Solarman and Mario Torero in front of their newly painted mural: "Cristo Che"