Taylor Explores the World

Hidalgo Park

Location: Corner of Calle 59 and Calle 60, Merida.

The black statue of Hidalgo sits atop a huge phallus shaped monument with stairs leading to it, draws your eyes naturally into Hidalgo Park.   The black statue at night lacks spot lighting, surprisingly, making it unnoticeable – sadly I never saw it was there until I was editing photos at home and happened to lighten one of the photos.  The tall monument, central to the park, is dedicated to General Manuel Cepeda Peraza.  It is surrounded by benches, Meridian love seats and elaborate French colonial mansions.  It, like most of Merida’s parks, offers free Wi-Fi to those in it.

As we sat admiring yet another beautiful park, we noticed a young Maya boy, maybe three years old, playing on the stairs and the platform of the monument.  As he ran around the upper level he laughed and giggled.  He would tire, rest near the steps for a second then run down a few, smiling a Cheshire grin.  Leaning on the rail, he would wait to see if his mother was watching, laugh and take off again.  Mom, dressed in full Highland Maya (Guatemala/Chiapas) garb with her shiny black hair braided tightly down her back, was haphazardly watching as she was focused on trying to sell her traditional Maya textiles to those who passed by.
A young couple sat enjoying the night in the park and the woman became frustrated with the mother’s lack of care and verbally accosted her very loudly for allowing her child to play on something so dangerous.  The young Mayan mother did not bat an eye, respond or change her or her son’s behavior.  The Maya woman carried on with no concern.  It was an interesting exchange, especially because recently in the United States a woman got her front tooth knocked out for commenting on a mother’s lack of control over her child in a store.  The exchange shows the differences culturally about handling public ridicule and probably illustrates the historic socioeconomic status that dictates behavior and even reactions of the participants.


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