Posted by: ktzefr | March 19, 2014

People Watching: Mérida, Yucatan

san miguel 041Mexico is the quintessential place to people watch.  With so much color and life almost bursting at the seams, any ordinary day can feel like a special occasion.  All one need do is sit for a spell in the town plaza.  Every Mexican town has its zócalo, or main square. 

Here are some of my favorite moments in Mérida’s zócalo and surrounding historic center:

Chasing pigeons is a universal kid thing to do…

Photo:KFawcett

Photo:KFawcett

Try to read amongst the chaos is what grown-ups do…

IMG_2369 (3)

Merida, Yucatan; Photo:KFawcett

Merida, Yucatan; Photo:KFawcett

Student performances take center stage…

Merida, Yucatan; Photo:KFawcett

Merida, Yucatan; Photo:KFawcett

(Note the whitewashed tree trunks.  This is common in many Mexican towns and brings back memories of my own growing-up years in eastern Kentucky when we whitewashed the trees in our yard.)

Colorful costumes, empty streets.

Merida, Yucatan; Photo:KFawcett

Merida, Yucatan; Photo:KFawcett

Every Sunday morning the streets in Centro, the historic center of town, are closed to traffic…

Merida, Yucatan; Photo:KFawcett

Merida, Yucatan; Photo:KFawcett

and it’s all about biking!  If you don’t have one, you can rent one.

Biking.  Merida, Yucatan; Photo:KFawcett

Biking. Merida, Yucatan; Photo:KFawcett

(Don’t be shocked by the $119 Prix Fix lunch price; this is in Mexican pesos — about $9 US.)

Other non-motorized vehicles are okay, too.  Calesas are used as taxis around town and are especially handy on Saturday nights and Sundays when cars are not allowed.  

Calesa.  Merida, Yucatan; Photo:KFawcett

Calesa. Merida, Yucatan; Photo:KFawcett

Private moments in public places…

Wedding.  Merida, Yucatan; Photo:KFawcett

Wedding. Merida, Yucatan; Photo:KFawcett

 

Merida, Yucatan; Photo:KFawcett

Merida, Yucatan; Photo:KFawcett

 

Merida, Yucatan; Photo:KFawcett

Merida, Yucatan; Photo:KFawcett

Every Saturday night local restaurateurs pull tables and chairs onto the streets, musicians set up mini stages, vendors open up shop, and there is dancing in the dark until the wee hours.  Then, just about the time you start to turn off the lights and head for bed…

the sound of drums breaks the silence.

Midnight parade.  Merida, Yucatan; Photo:KFawcett

parade. Merida, Yucatan; Photo:KFawcett

************************************

“Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,

the world offers itself to your imagination,

calls to you like the wild geese, harsh

and exciting —

over and over announcing your place

in the family of things.”

~ Mary Oliver, “Wild Geese”

***************

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Responses

  1. Katie, great street scenes! But I AM curious about the reason behind white-washing tree trunks 🙂

    • Just for looks, I guess. It’s very common in plazas throughout Mexico and I recall seeing the whitewashed trees even back in the 70s there. We did it in Kentucky for a few years when I was a kid.


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