Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Oaxaca's New Zocalo

Restoration work on the Zocalo in Oaxaca, Mexico. © John Mitchell 2005

The big news in Oaxaca these days is the city's renovated Zocalo (main plaza). It's the heart and soul of Oaxaca and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. So when city authorities decided to rip up the Zocalo without consulting the locals, the move caused a lot of controversy, especially when some of the square's 125-year-old Indian Laurel trees started to topple over. When I visited Oaxaca in late June 2005, things were a real mess (see photo at left). Sidewalk cafés and other businesses around the Zocalo were suffering financially, and people seemed lost without their main public space. Now most of the work has apparently been finished. Check out the and Mexicanwave websites to see the latest Zocalo pictures and read news about the reconstruction. To me, the new Zocalo looks more sterile than the old one, which is a real pity since it was one of the prettiest plazas in Mexico.

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