Mérida, Yucatán — Ceremonial speeches yesterday signaled the beginning of long-awaited renovations to the main public markets, where vendors are being relocated to temporary facilities while floor-to-ceiling repairs and renovations begin.
Officials boasted about the budget of the first phase: $55 million pesos for Lucas de Gálvez, which will be renovated into several sections and have a new building. Another $7 million pesos was allocated to the more modern, but poorly conceived San Benito for its major overhaul. The second phase, to integrate the two markets, will follow at a cost of $130 million pesos.
Every day, an estimated 100,000 people visit about 2,300 vendors at the two marketplaces to buy everything from shoes to spices to live animals.
The ceremony, held in the courtyard that separates the Museum of the City and Los Portales, Mayor Renán Barrera Concha declared this a historic day for the city, which is finally beginning the job of restoring dignity, hygiene and security to the public. Tenants complained for years about plumbing, electrical and drainage systems, among other shortcomings, in the crowded markets. Work is expected to finish in August.
Both bustling markets are south of Mérida’s downtown, on calles 63 and 67 between 58 and 68. Lucas de Gálvez’s main building was built in 1948. To its east is hulking San Benito structure, built in 2004.
An overhaul in Chem Bech’s smaller market demonstrated last year what new plumbing, ventilation, counters and paint can do.
Source: Diario de Yucatán