I love summertime in Mérida. Every year the city becomes almost empty because so many people go to the beach to enjoy their holidays. Others, like myself, prefer to stay in the city enjoying the decrease in traffic and the relaxed atmosphere on the streets.
But there’s more to it than that, because although the city becomes somewhat deserted, there are still plenty of ways to enjoy a summer in Mérida.
My favorite spot is the Parque de las Américas, which is located in one of Mérida’s most traditional Colonias, García Ginerés.
Have you ever been? This park takes up four city blocks and each one is a different section: La Fuente Monumental (the monumental fountain), La Biblioteca José Martí (the José Martí library), the La Concha Acústica (the acoustical shell), and the Jardín de Niños Felipe Carrillo Puerto (the Felipe Carrillo Puerto kindergarten).
The Monumental Fountain
If you’d like to spend a relaxed afternoon, go to the block which houses La Fuente Monumental. Take a seat on one of the benches and take in the peace and quiet of the surrounding gardens. You’ll also get a prime view of the fountain which is inspired by ancient Maya architecture and is adorned with a five-headed feathered serpent: Kukulkán.
The José Martí Library
On the next block, you’ll find the José Martí Library, constructed to resemble a Maya hut. It’s adorned with an image of a pheasant and a deer on the front façade. Go to the patio for a quiet place to read while the chac-mool statues keep you company and guard the entrance. Occasionally, the city of Mérida (www.merida.gob.mx) hosts exhibits and events here. If you’d like to visit inside the library, you’ll find it open Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 5 pm.
The Acoustic Shell
The Acoustical Shell is an open-air theater where events are held; you can find information regarding the different events hosted here on the city’s website. On the side street you will find many carts which sell different snacks such as Esquites, shaved ice, hot dogs, and more. Make sure to get there early! Every afternoon there’s a huge lineup as people congregate to enjoy their Esquites.
Felipe Carrillo Puerto kindergarten
If you have little ones with you, they’ll find lots of entertainment at the kindergarten. There is a great playground with many amenities such as seesaws, monkey bars, and bouncy castles for the kids to enjoy. There’s also a track which goes around this section where they can run and ride bikes or rental carts.
An Afternoon at the Park
At certain times, the winged residents of the park flutter around to greet their visitors: in the afternoon, bright green parrots can be seen high up in the treetops and palm trees. Keep a lookout for them during your next visit!
Whether you’re visiting the Parque de las Américas or a park closer to home, spend an afternoon in the fresh air, and get a little closer to nature. This summer, get out of the house and spend time with your friends and family at one of our city’s many parks. You won’t regret it.
Editorial by Claudia Améndola
Photography by Claudia Améndola for use in Yucatán Today
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