Although Saturday’s Alebrijes Parade was the first of its kind in the city, it somehow felt like it belonged.
The procession-like parade kicked off at 5 p.m. from Mérida’s zocalo making its way down Calle 60 and Paseo de Montejo and ultimately ending at the Monumento a la Patria.
Everywhere you went you could not but overhear the conversations of spectators, all making the same observation: that it was so great to see so much color and life on Mérida’s streets again.
The carnival-like atmosphere was accompanied by the heart-thumping beat of drums, or batucada, as these sort of percussion ensembles are known locally.
The parade was organized by Subhro AC, a local nonprofit organization promoting the arts, culture, and sustainable community development.
“We have been offering alebrije workshops here in Mérida to lay the groundwork for this event. We are so excited that everything has come together so well,” said the event organizer, José Manuel Paredes.
Funds for the workshops and the parade itself were granted to Subhro AC through a federal arts grant. The parade also received a police escort and logistical support from Mérida’s city hall in order to open and close streets as the parade went by.
“The idea to do this parade has been long in the making. We started off offering our workshop to children, but soon their parents wanted in on the actions as well. This whole experience has just been so rewarding. We have no intention of stopping now,” said Paredes.
The giant Alebrijes that took part in the parade will be on display on Mérida’s Paseo de Montejo for the next couple of weeks. They will then be set up for another 15 days downtown in Mejorada Park.