By Suzanne A. Marshall on the January 2021 Edition
To say it has been a tough year in 2020 is a serious understatement. Those of us living in Manzanillo could at least enjoy the climate, humid air and a few safe activities such as walking, and the odd safe meal somewhere breezy and open-air, of course while trying to adhere to social distancing measures and wearing face masks.
The fact that many Mexicans had trouble complying with this is no secret. You could see them without masks everywhere. I came to notice that, slowly, many began to wear them. It is certainly not helpful when the President insisted it was not serious and did not comply, himself. Nevertheless, soon enough, the spreading numbers began to make the situation apparent. When you see and hear of people sick all around you, the message is finally driven home for some, though not all. Lately, there has been a barrage of information on COVID-19, recommendations and statistics that have been most helpful, especially as it is in both Spanish and English.
In the El Centro district of Manzanillo (downtown), like the entire area, the pandemic really took its toll on the livelihood of the population and many businesses closed. Those that did not, suffered tremendous decreases in sales and income.
For one thing, there have been no cruise ships docking. A much needed economic boost used to occur, when hundreds who were sailing disembarked the ship to go shopping for trinkets and enjoy the tours that were available, in abundance, at the time. In better times, there were several cruises arriving per week.
As Allan and I like to take walks for exercise along the port Malecón, we noticed that big tankers and container ships in the bay were noticeably few and far between. Trade, in general, has been severely impacted.
As a result, there was an important decision made to try and reactivate the El Centro tourist zone. Manzanillo City Council sponsored the ‘Graffiti Titan League’ and urban artists from Mexico (70) and Colombia (2) were requested to paint murals in the heart of the city. On November 21 and 22, they began to paint 100 murals, with different themes, highlights and realism. This is to generate a sense of belonging, identity and pride of the natural resources through the expression of urban art.
If you are a walking buff and don’t mind trundling up and down the various streets and avenues, you’ll find delightful artistic renderings around many corners. We decided to drive up and down the streets as it was hot, and we did not want to miss anything. I suspect that we may have anyway and will have to take another drive around to find more surprises.
What a delightful and fulfilling idea this whole project has been. I wonder if someone will develop a driving tours for all our guests. It would also be a great idea to develop a map/ brochure that names, numbers and the locations of these art pieces throughout El Centro.
We are pleased to present a sampling of the murals as well as a link to all the works we were able to find. Enjoy and take a visit when you can. Start at City Hall and up the sides of the multi-level parkade nearby.
Suzanne A. Marshall hails from western Canada and has been living the good life in Manzanillo over the past 8 years. She is a wife, mom and grandma. She is retired from executive business management where her writing skills focused on bureaucratic policy, marketing and business newsletters. Now she shares the fun and joy of writing about everyday life experiences in beautiful Manzanillo, Mexico, the country, its people, the places and the events.