Episode 399 – ¡Calor y Color!

Hace mucho calor. It’s REALLY hot. Hot as in 39°C/ 102°C every day. It’s tempting to simply stay inside and read, punctuated by dips in the pool, but we’re down to our last 3 weeks in Mérida and it would be a shame not to explore a few more of the sites here in the city centre before we make our brief return to Canada.

To that end, today we walked to the MACAY (Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Ateneo de Yucatán/Museum of Contemporary Art Athenaeum of Yucatan) to explore the art collection housed in the old building known as the Peninsular Athenaeum, constructed between 1573 and 1636, and given its current French neo-Renaissance exterior style in 1916. Prior to opening its doors on April 29, 1994 as an art museum, the building served as an annex to the Cathedral of San Ildefonso, housing a clerical college and seminary, an arts teaching centre, the Archbishop’s Palace, chapels, and a religious hostel, and then government offices for a few years.

Most of the art is exhibited in 15 galleries on the second floor, 8 of which are permanent exhibits.

The current temporary exhibition featured 105 graphic art pieces, by a total of 97 different Mexican artists. Each piece was selected not only for its intricacy, but also for its message.

This incredibly detailed work features hundreds of skeletons inhabiting a city neighbourhood. It reminded me of art we saw years ago in the Mexican Pavilion of the World’s Fair exhibit in Balboa Park in San Diego. I’m looking forward to revisiting that next February.
Note the sign beside the body: Caution. Dead person.
The title of this piece is ¡Shhhhh! Ya no reaccionan la situación los ha sobrepasado. (Shhhh! They no longer react, the situation has surpassed/gotten the better of them.)
A small selection of Fernando Castro Pacheco works are represented in the MACAY (we’ve seen many, many many more displayed in the Governor’s Palace and the Museum of the City of Mérida). The large upper triptych is on the theme of the abuses of the henequen plantation system. The lovely lower painting is entitled La torteadora (the tortilla maker).
Another large permanent exhibit was dedicated to Fernando Garcia Ponce, who specialized in abstract paintings and collages, including the installation incorporating a chair.

In the first floor courtyard are large sculptures. My favourites were those by Rodrigo de la Sierra, who goes by “Timo”. Their whimsy makes me smile.

Siglo XXI (21stCentury) by Pablo Castillo
Buenas Intenciones “ (Good Intentions), features Timo’s iconic little man getting ready to take a huge leap, equipped variously with wings, a parachute, a pair of sofa cushions, a superhero cape, balloons, a barrel, a paper airplane, and lastly a briefcase.
“Arbol de Vida” (Tree of Life). Some are just hanging on, some are examining their roots, and one figure looks like he’s conquered the climb!

Between the MACAY and the Cathedral is the newly refurbished Passaje de la Revolución (Passage of the Revolution), which is currently home to a gorgeous temporary exhibit called the Camino de Flores (Path of Flowers). Timo’s pilot sculpture is a permanent fixture here, so was incorporated into the floral display.

Top three: the passage without any activity in it is still gorgeous. Bottom three: our intrepid paper airplane pilot surrounded by flowers.

We walked through the display at night, when the mood is quite different (Ted’s video below).

At night, the coloured lights and video screens enhance the display. In the daytime, the natural colours of the flowers are what is spectacular.

A topiary mouse, hummingbird, anteater, and a globe all make for great photos.
More topiary animals, plus one very live gardener keeping the plants watered in the extreme heat.
Stunning orchids, bromelia, and peace lilies.

It was a fun couple of hours of both calor (heat) and color (colour) for us in Mérida today… and a return to the pool as soon as we got home!


  1. You are an ambassador For every place you visit!! Are the museums air conditioned?? Love Ted’s video. Hard to imagine people in shorts 🤢🤢🤢 What do they do for Easter? Much love



    • Oh yes, there’s A/C in the galleries and (most) museums. That’s a big attraction mid-day!! Easter Will be quiet (for us) – it’s a religious holiday here. No bunnies or hooplah.


      • The Polish service is 6:00 am and they celebrate outside of the church with lots of noise ! Anna was telling me about all the Religious Hoopla ! Noisy!


        Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful artwork and such gorgeous flowers! I don’t know about the heat though. It’s been 30c here in Florida and I find we go out in evenings, unless you are John who golfs! Still can’t get in pool (soon), but will be back in Canada this time next week, so indoor pool for me! Enjoy your last few weeks and then where? BC? Have fun!

    Liked by 1 person

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