Published On: Fri, Jun 6th, 2014

In Mérida, Greening of the “Centro” is a growing trend

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According to the  blog known as © Yucatan Expat, growing population of trees in Merida’s historic center has not escaped the notice of a local newspaper.

Reports Joaquin Chan Caamal of Diario de Yucatán (translated from Spanish): “Foreign residents who live in the historic center of Mérida not only saved valuable old colonial mansions from collapse, but now have created a style that contributes to changing urban landscape and environmental improvement.”

“Slowly, but with more and more followers, residents plant trees at the doors of their row homes, as recommended by a young biologist who sells plants, transplants into small holes dirt on sidewalks and oversees their development. “It is increasingly common in Santiago [and also Santa Lucia and Santa Ana] to see a row of little trees with green foliage that are just growing. However, those already provide cool shelter to passersby on days with strong heat and sun. They can stand under bushes to regain strength and continue their urban hike.


Calle 53 is the epicenter of the Centro’s greening.

“This reporter counted eight homes with trees at the gates.” [If the reporter had ventured beyond Santiago, he’d have counted more.]

The article said expats are inspired by the nonprofit group Merida Verde led by American retiree Julie Hoover, who also creates rooftop gardens.

The green advocates of the Centro favor black calabash trees. Residents need permission from the city to cut a hole in the sidewalk before they plant.

On Calle 53, a homeowner promotes the planting of more trees in the Centro. Photo Imagine Merida

On Calle 53, a homeowner promotes the planting of more trees in the Centro. Photo Imagine Merida


To learn about the Amphitecna latifolia, the latin name of the calabash, walk by the big blue house, pictured above. It’s No. 513, on Calle 53 between 62 and 64.

According to expat blog Imagine Merida, note on the door, signed by Paulino Simã, explains the calabash’s suitability to the centro’s narrow sidewalks.

In short, the leaves stay green and don’t drop on the ground, and the sidewalk doesn’t get uprooted. But pruning lower branches is required.
© Yucatan Expat.


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