Garcia Gineres Neighborhood: Highly Sought After in Centro

Don Joaquín Marcial García Ginerés arrived from Cuba in 1898 accompanied by his wife & brother. He was quite a visionary; proposing a project to develop an abandoned part of Mérida known as San Cosme in the Garcia Gineres Neighborhood. The idea was backed by Mayor Don Augusto L. Peón as San Cosme was an obligatory passage for the small trams traveling from his Tanlum & Chenkú haciendas to his henequen bale warehouses. This was the beginning of the Garcia Gineres neighborhood in Mérida.

Don Joaquín García Ginerés put his plans into action which included residential houses constructed from wood with spacious patios. As an example, he built his own home on 20th Street. The project was called “Alliance of Itzimná” of which some of the original houses are still preserved.

By 1904, residents downtown Mérida began to trickle into García Ginerés, now bearing the name of its founder. Several of the area’s most iconic homes & monuments were designed by the Colombian architect Rómulo Rozo — famous for projects such as the Monumento a la Patria on Paseo de Montejo in the Garcia Gineres Neighborhood.

Rozo is also remembered for spearheading the architectural style known as Deco Maya in the Garcia Gineres Neighborhood. This style fuses Art Deco with a heavy influence of Neo-Mayan architecture & iconography. Additional examples of his work are found in the park.

In the center of Garcia Gineres is Parque de Las Americas, a tree-filled park in four quadrants built in Maya Art Deco style in the Garcia Gineres Neighborhood. Columns throughout the park are dedicated to all the nations of the Americas.

*Not to be confused with the Las Americas subdivision located in the north part of Mérida.

You will also see some Chac Mool sculptures, like the one at Chichén Itzá, steles carved in stone with Maya figures. Observe all the monuments to the different countries of North & South America in the Garcia Gineres Neighborhood, in a style that pays homage to the Maya culture in direct opposition to the area’s heritage of Spanish conquest. The park was built to represent the unity of the American people, pre-Hispanic cultures, & socialist ideals.

The first section in the Garcia Gineres Neighborhood in Mérida consists of an enormous semi-circular fountain with Neomaya architectural influence. It has seven serpentine columns representing Kukulkán.

The second section, Centro Cultural José Martí, represents a Puuc style Maya dwelling, featuring the figures of the pheasant and the deer, iconic animals of Yucatán. The central part is an exhibition room with murals of the American continent & portraits of Bolívar, San Martín, José Martí, Sucre, Hidalgo, Morelos, & Washington, done by the painter Bolaños Gallardo in the Garcia Gineres Neighborhood.

The third section is the acoustic shell, an open-air theater with a grand esplanade. Its design & decoration refer to the thousand columns at Chichén Itzá. It is rumored there is a cenote under the concha.

The fourth section is the kids’ park with games, a rink for skating, bicycling, & strollers. This area is fenced in for safety.

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