This weekend my study abroad program took us on an excursion trip to Mexico City. The amount of history I breathed in was so much that I’m still processing it today. My group visited everything from pre-hispanic sites to sites inspired by French architecture. In its’ entirety, we were there for three days: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Friday we left Querétaro at 8 a.m. to arrive in Teotihuacán at 11 am. There we visited the ruins that were mainly the temple of Quetzalcoatl, linked to the Sun and Moon pyramids. I climbed both pyramids. Atop the pyramids, I felt a mixture of emotions that ranged from pride to extreme sadness. The history I was standing on saw a great deal of suffering, but was also the cite of one of the most advanced pre-Columbian cities. Later that same day, the group visited the Zocalo, which is the second biggest plaza in the world. There, the Mexican flag was soaring and was full of grace. My eyes nearly swelled with tears at the sight.
Saturday we would go back to the Zocalo, but explore a little bit further into its’ history. In the morning we toured the Palacio Nacional, where Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Mexico’s actual President resides. When standing in the middle of the patio, one can observe the incredible murals artist Diego Rivera painted. The main staircase showcases a mural that took six years to paint, while more murals adorn the second floor.
Our second stop of the day was in Mexico’s Museo de Antropología. The museum houses everything from Northern to civilizations, to Mayan ruins. In it are displayed human bones, as well as prehistoric animal bones. There I was even to learn the history of the indigenous people of my home state, Michoacán, who were the Purépechas, mainly concentrated in what is today Pátzcuaro, Michoacán. It was wholesome to say it simply.
Later that day, we visited Castillo de Chapultepec, where royals Maximiliano and Carlota lived during their rule over Mexico. The castle overlooks Mexico City’s skyline, which his extremely contrasted when observing the “jungle” that is Chapultepec Park.
On Sunday, our last day the group visited Palacio de Bellas Artes and Frida Kahlo’s former home. Standing outside and seeing Bellas Artes was an experience in it of itself, and being inside was mesmerizing. The architecture of the building is heavily influenced by the architecture of France, since the Administration of Porfirio Diaz favored European style everything, but the inside proclaims its’ Mexican Heritage loudly with murals from the Revolución Mexicana, specifically, “Nueva Democacia” painted by Mexican Muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros. Diego Rivera’s murals also have an important spot within the museum as well. “El Hombre Controlador Del Universo,” the mural sent to destroy by John D. Rockefeller, is preciously displayed in the museum, along with others.
We arrived to Frida Kahlo’s former that home later that day. Sunday was a day extremely packed with history. “La caza azul,” as some people call it was gorgeous. The line that wrapped around the corner twice was daunting but worth the wait 10 times over. The outside of the home is loud with its’ electric blue color, and inside the home is even more breathtaking. There, the dresses Frida used are on display, along with explanations as to why she dressed the way she did. We were also able to see Frida y Diego’s former bedroom, Frida’s studio, their kitchen, and Frida’s bedroom. Some of her art was also displayed, like “Henry Ford Hospital.” The painting is raw with sorrow, and painfully depicts the suffering Frida underwent at the loss of her child.
Over the weekend, every breath I took I inhaled history. I’m sorry to say I couldn’t breathe fast enough.