A Chac Mool at Parque de las Americas
When we think of Saturday night in Mérida, “Noche Méxicana” with its folkloric dancing, handcrafts and regional goodies comes to mind. So does Calle 60. The restaurants set out tables where vehicles usually run back and forth, the musicians tune up and dancing begins… But there’s another ‘happening place’ for young families: “Parque de las Americas.”
We live a short distance from this popular park and when our children were small, we walked there almost every evening that it didn’t rain. Contained within four city blocks, this park features an amphitheater, a large fountain, a cultural center and a children’s playground.
The little ones seem to be drawn like magnets to the rental go-karts and other motorized kiddie-sized cars. I declare THIS is where the future drivers of our fair city get their first ‘driving lessons’ – many of those angelic, chubby cheeked 4 year olds turn lean and mean the minute they get into the driver’s seat!
But thankfully demon-drag-racing is not the only attraction for the small set – a jungle gym, trampoline, sand box and lots of other entertainment is to be found. (Some of you will recognize the two little sweeties playing with the giant abacus.)
But with no small children; why do Jorge and I go to the Parque de las Americas? For the street food of course! There are 16 carts selling everything from corn on the cob to marquesitas… Do you maybe not know what a marquesita is?
Have a look at these pictures and you’ll get the idea. It’s like a r0lled waffle cone stuffed with cheese… the whole thing is prepared as you wait. Very yummy! The couple we bought ours from at “Marqusitas Arco Iris” say that they go through 12 of those big gouda cheeses every Saturday night! And there are 5 carts selling marquesitas…
Architecturally speaking, the park is quite unique because of its pre-Columbian style featuring rain gods, feathered serpents and chac mools. There is also a column dedicated to each of the countries that call the American continent their home. Originally, trees from every one of those countries were planted (the maple did not survive!) A few are still standing but most of them blew down in the severe wind storms over the years.
The Parque de las Americas is easy to find (straight up Calle 80 from Centro) you’ll find buses that also go by there (the 62, 66 and 82) If you haven’t done so already, get acquainted with the park… you’ll be happy you did.