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.
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The work of Yucatán’s most celebrated muralist, Fernando Castro Pacheco (1918-2013), housed in Mérida’s Palacio de Gobierno, turned 50 on Independence Day.
The 25 works were first installed in the government building as part of a permanent exhibit, “Cosmogonía Maya,” during the tenure of the then-Gov. Carlos Loret de Mola Mediz in 1971.
But aside from celebrating Maya culture, several of Castro Pacheco’s works also delve into difficult topics such as the enslavement of Maya peoples and the Caste War fought in the 19th century between insurrectionist fighters and the Mexican government.
The collection also includes controversial images of figures such as Francisco de Montejo, and Fray Diego de Landa, who was responsible for the destruction of innumerable Maya texts and artifacts.
Among the artwork is a depiction of the death by torture of the famed Mayan freedom fighter and rebel Jackito Canek in 1761.
Though the tone of many of the images is quite grim, others cover themes such as the creation of the first Mestizo, or mixed-race family which came as a result of the union of the shipwrecked Spanish sailor Gonzalo Guerrero and the indigenous woman Zazil Há.
One of the most famous works of Castro Pacheco’s found at Mérida’s Palacio de Gobierno is “La Lucha Eterna de México” which depicts the prophesied battle between a serpent and eagle, a metaphor for Mexico’s eternal struggle.
The exhibition containing all of Castro Pacheco’s most famous work is typically open every day and is admission-free. However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the exhibit has been closed until further notice.
Though part of the Mayan world, archaeological sites in El Salvador have largely remained unvisited by all but the most avid adventurers. But this tiny country boasts several interesting sites full of unique features and blends of cultural traditions.
Walking through virtually any city or town in Yucatán a wide range of food vendors can be seen peddling goodies out of push carts, mobile stands, food trucks, and just about every other configuration you can think of.