We’re living in the neighborhood (barrio) of Santiago in the Central (el Centro) or downtown area of Merida. As in most Mexican communities, the neighborhood tends to have most things to meet your needs. Here’s a bit about our little barrio.
Our mornings are met with the sound of the Mourning Doves perched on the wall next to our pool, as well as the neighbors’ dogs barking and trying to kill each other. Homes are built in the old Spanish style with plain facades and thick, shared walls. You see absolutely nothing of your neighbor or what’s behind their facade. So, unless you happen to meet your neighbors coming or going you may never meet their little, noisy, rat dogs, only hear them. It’s hard to meet the neighbors or to know exactly where the dogs live.
There are three hotels within 2 blocks of us in different directions.
All three hotels advertise free parking lots. The Paris Hotel is the only lot visible from the street.
Directly across the street from us is the LA68 Cultural Center that I mentioned in my last post. They have breakfast and lunch, a gift shop with only locally made, handcrafted items, coffee and alcohol drinks. One of their big things is to host a weekly home and garden tour as well as International movies in an open air theatre each day but Sunday.
Next to LA68 is another building which has only had activity on Sunday afternoon. The sign above the door says:
Arquidiocesis de Yucatan
Which translates into something about the Missionary Works of the Pontifical Episcopalians Archdiocese Management. Hmmm. To our left is an older (probably our age) Mexican couple with a bunch of cats. The cats walk on the walls and if the wind is right and the neighbor’s garage door open, you can smell and see cats as you walk by. There’s been only one cat fight/howl since we’ve been here. Much better than the dogs.
We live on Calle 68, #475 between 55 and 57 (Calle 68, #475, x55 y57). The streets are set so the even numbers run north and south and odd numbers east and west. Most all the streets are labeled on a corner building so it’s fairly easy to find your way around. All but the main thoroughfares are one way. This makes it easier to watch for traffic.
It seems there are more street lights than I’m accustomed to in Mexico but that’s good. Maybe it’s because we’re in el Centro. The lights are only on two of the four corners so you must pay attention. Then again, even if not watching the light you must pay attention as pedestrians do not have the right away in Mexico. If it’s bigger than you it gets it’s way! Since it is Mexico, you don’t have to wait for the light to turn green if there’s no traffic coming and jay-walking is okay.
On many corners you can see these cute little picture signs. I’ve yet to learn what they’re about but they tickle my fancy so I wanted to share a few examples.
One of the questions I had for the landlord was what to do with the trash. You simply put it out on the sidewalk and it goes away, I should say gets picked up. It’s not clear to me when the pick-up is since trash appears on the same streets on different days. And, it goes away.We’re three blocks from Santiago park and market. This is a small market but has most of what you might want or need. There’s a church and more business around the park. The church bells seem to ring in the morning and late afternoons on the quarter hour. The mercado is a place we visit regularly. Bear with my Spanish practice. It’s my next task!
There are other businesses around the park such as paint stores, hardware shops, a butcher, bakery, laundries and more. One side of the park is where taxis gather. It’s a busy main street through the city.
Here are more sites from the neighborhood.
So, I hope you’ve enjoyed viewing the barrio as much as I’ve enjoyed sharing it. If only you could hear the sounds, smell the wonderful aromas, as well as feel the warmth of the sun on your skin… Until next time, adios.