Strutting down Congress Street, most of us will notice how there’s plenty of great artwork to admire.

Recently, we tagged along with a group of neighbors who meet up outside Hotel Congress most Mondays.

Some are friends, others are tourists in town for a couple days, but they all get to socialize while breathing some fresh air. And on the fourth Monday each month, leaders and volunteers from Beyond Tucson will guide the group, strolling up and down the neighborhood streets to learn more about the murals that tell the stories of our community.

The Good Morning Tucson team joined Beyond Tucson executive director Daniela Diamente for a quick version of her organization’s 14 Mural Walk, which covers 1.85 miles of downtown.

“Even if you’re not from here (and) you’re just passing through, you can get a sense of the essence of the culture of Tucson,” Diamente said. “It’s part of connecting people.”

That’s one of many reasons why Diamente said she loves going on these walks. As our guide, she first took us to see a work that artist Ignacio Garcia painted on a long, vertical wall on the corner of Congress and Fifth.

On this and every stop in the tour, Diamente said she’ll eagerly ask her group if any component of the mural pops off the wall. “Some people will say the skull of the woman’s dress, others say the indigenous roots that you see in her, and it’s just a gorgeous human being,” she said.

Further up Congress past Scott, there’s an entire parking lot of murals to dissect. Diamente says over the last two years, artists and admirers have gathered for a “Rock the Spot” exhibit, where graffiti artists will etch and pain their new creations, each sharing a personal vision, and many are of their own takes on Tucson’s long history.

“In a weekend, they’re putting out all these amazing things, so each year, it’s going to change, expect for a couple of pieces like this,” Diamente said, pointing to a mural called ‘Las Tres Hermanas.’ The piece highlights how women contributed to agricultural development, as well as showing the three staple crops that have fed communities here for centuries: corn, bean and squash.

Later on the walk, Diamente showed us a newer mural; another work from Ignacio Garcia. Here, passersby can now see a tribute to the Rialto Theater’s rich musical history.

“You’ve got that desert landscape, you got these gorgeous sunset colors that we get in the desert,” Diamente said, “and then, being on the back of the Rialto, you get the ‘guitarrista’… a gorgeous woman playing guitar.”

You could always take a few laps of the tour by yourself, but Diamente and Beyond Tucson, as a nonprofit, believe there’s a bonus perk in supporting events that help people connect and stay active.

That’s why most Mondays, the organization will invite neighbors to come to the plaza for their ‘Meet Me at Maynards’ events. Program director Lisa Delaossa is often there to welcome people, and she said in most cases, she and her team will meet other locals. “But we do have lots of people that are staying here at Hotel Congress that just want to check out what’s going on,” she said.

“I feel like having all of this different artwork in the downtown area is a reason for us to all get out,” Delaossa said. “You can come out every week and see something different out here, so I think it’s a great experience for our community.”

It is free to sign up and join both the social events at ‘Meet Me at Maynards’ and the mural walks. Beyond Tucson also hosts a similar event each Wednesday where guests can walk around and socialize around St. Phillip’s Plaza.

The next guided mural walk is scheduled for April 22.