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In the spirit of friendship, “Korean Greetingman” makes his way to Mérida

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
Mérida’s Mayor inspects “Greetingman” before its installation on avenida República de Corea. Photo: File

Mérida on Monday received the sculpture known as “Greetingman” as a gesture of friendship from the Republic of South Korea. 

The statue of a bowing man was created by Korean artist Yoo Young-Ho, and is six meters tall and painted blue. It is to be errected on the avenida República de Corea, in Mérida’s north. 

“This statue recognizes the bonds which tie our two great nations together,” said Mérida Mayor Renán Barrera Concha. 

Mérida is the first city in Mexico to host “Greetingman.” Previously the statue has stood in other cities in Latin America which have received a considerable amount of Korean migrants, such as Quito, Panama and Montevideo.

Earlier: Avenue renamed to celebrate city’s kinship with S. Korea

It is unknown how long the statue will remain in Mérida before it is removed to grace the streets of another city. 

The first large wave of Korean immigrants arrived in Mexico in 1905. Most of the Koreans who ended up coming to Yucatán were laborers in henequen plantations. 

The Korean community in Mérida consists of more than 2,000 descendants who have made this city their home.

Monument to the contribution of Korean migrants in Yucatán. Photo: File

“The Korean community in Mérida has always been very hardworking and willing to integrate into the economic and civic life of our state without forgetting about their cultural roots,” said Mérida Mayor Renán Barrera Concha. 

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