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La Plancha tour promotes ‘Central Park’ concept

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The La Plancha district. Photo: David Stansbury

Mérida, Yucatán — The public is invited to see firsthand why community leaders are excited about the prospect of a 60-acre Central Park in the Centro.

Once the center of Yucatan’s henequen economy, the La Plancha district holds a rich history, grand architecture and beautiful flora.

Before henequen and the train station, the neighborhood of Mejorada was a community of traditional Maya houses. The construction of the train station changed everything.

The La Plancha field is thought to be perfect for a park. Photo: David Stansbury

All this will be the topic of lectures, which will be delivered in the cool interior of the circa-1920 train station. English translation will accompany the talks.

The tour includes rare access to the grand railway station and other sites from Merida’s Belle Epoque. 

Tours depart every 15 minutes between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 11. Tour duration is about 1.5 hours.

A rare chance to tour the historic train station is this Saturday. Photo: David Stansbury

Appropriate shoes and clothing are encouraged for this walking tour. The starting point is the historic train station at Calle 55 and 48. Parking is available.

In place of a blocks-long vacant field, neighborhood groups have advocated a park that not only creates green space, but engages residents, similar to New York City’s dynamic Central Park. Bike paths, performance spaces and programs to encourage physical fitness are among the elements neighbors have stressed for years.

Government officials have expressed support for the project, but have moved slowly to resolve legal issues to make the park a reality.

La Plancha will be a 60-acre rectangle running south-to-north between calles 55 and 43, and west to east at calles 48 and 46.

Tickets (200 pesos in advance, 250 pesos at the event) are being sold at Hennessy’s, Robert Abuda Salon, Café Creme, SOHO Gallaries and El Bull Pen in Chelem.

Yucatán Expat Life is proud to be a sponsor of the La Plancha tour. Proceeds benefit Gran Parque La Plancha A.C.’s campaign to create the 60-acre park at La Plancha.

La Plancha is the last piece of land close to downtown that is suitable for a large-scale park.

“If we don’t build a park there, we will never have another opportunity,” says Joanna van der Gracht de Rosado, a Canadian-born resident who has advocated for the park concept.

Read about the efforts to make the Gran Parque La Plancha a reality.

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