I have always had a thing for walking in the footsteps of history. There's something about standing on old ground where one almost feels transported to the past no matter what today looks like. Or at least that's how it works for me. That was the thought process working in the background for me when I made this photo art take on the old Spanish colonial cathedral in the heart of Merida in the Yucatan.
There's so much history in this Zocalo. It's not just the Cathedral of San Ildefonso finished in 1598. In addition to being one of the oldest cathedrals in the Amercas, that cathedral was built from the stones of a Mayan city. In fact, standing here in the heart of Merida, you're standing on the site of a Mayan City, T'ho, that predated the arrival of the Spanish. And many of the people you see, descendants of the indigenous people, still consider themselves the Maya of today.
This was based on a photo from my second trip to Merida, and I've really come to appreciate this city. It's a beautiful place with a long although not always bright history. And it feels like a vibrant place in a way that I hope I captured. Even the double decker tour bus a the edge of the image is a nod to that future. When I had first visited Merida, I saw no large tour buses, just a small but fun trolley tour. There was a protective part of me that hated to see the change, but also a side proud of their success. What a beautiful and deserving city.
April 12th, 2013
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