Authorities have begun to partition sections of land designated for a park in the Altabrisa neighborhood.
Neighbors are concerned about rumors that this is being done to sell lots within the park for commercial purposes.
Mayor Renan Barrera promised the nearly 20-acre lot would serve as “the lung” of northern Mérida, but now plans seem to have changed.
“We have seen workers sectioning off lots that resemble the dimension necessary for private business, but that is not what we agreed to. We need a park, not more strip malls,” said Altabrisa resident Manuel Torres.
Taking matters into their own hands, residents of the area have been planting trees and installing benches on the lots.
People who live in the area say that they feel tricked by the city’s new stance, which they decried as highly unethical.
Parque Tho’, under the shadows of the twin Country Towers complex and a busy shopping mall, will have conventional recreational space as well as shopping, a bandstand, shopping, and kiosks for paying bills.
The neighbors took over a lot they did not own and began their own project without anyone’s consent.
“These are mostly people not originally from Mérida who feel they have the right to come here and do whatever they want. We all want better infrastructure, but if we in the south tried a stunt like that, we would be arrested, not hailed environmentalists or heroes,” said Manuel Cahuich of the 42 Sur neighborhood, writing on Facebook.
Prehispanic-era ceramics have been found on the site, making any activity on the lot illegal until given the green light by INAH.
There is also good reason to believe that excavations in the park would yield further discoveries, as other empty lots just blocks away are home to large-scale Maya architecture.
Ironically, the Parque Tho’ name is a direct reference to the name of Mérida during the late Maya classical age.
The inspiration behind the Tho’ Parque de Todos project was in the popular parks of the Alemán and Las Américas neighborhoods. They are popular enough to attract residents from all around the city, not just in the immediate area.
The inspiration behind the “Tho’ Parque de Todos” project came from parks in the Alemán and Las Américas neighborhoods. Those are popular enough to attract residents from all around the city, not just in the immediate area.