MERIDA, YUCATAN Although it has had a "boom" in recent years for its quality of life, safety and tourist attractions, the reality is that Mérida –and the entire state of Yucatán– has always been characterized by its historical wealth, its cultural legacy and its unparalleled gastronomy, among many other virtues. Not for nothing was it ranked as the best small city in the world to visit outside the United States – according to Condé Nast Traveler – surpassing destinations such as Québec, Canada or Salzburg, Austria.
Founded on January 6, 1542, Mérida commemorates its 479th anniversary, so we share some curious facts so that you know a little more about the city: It has sister cities – There are 3 three Meridas in the world: Spain, Venezuela and, of course, the very noble and very loyal city of Merida, Yucatan. Its cathedral is the first in continental America – With Renaissance style, the Cathedral of San Ildefonso is the first cathedral built in continental America (mainland) and the oldest in Mexico. In all of America, only the Cathedral of Santo Domingo is older than that of Yucatan. *Some churches, such as the former convent of Nuns, have secret tunnels. It is believed that they previously connected with the cathedral, although some say they are only legends.
Chichen Itza, wonder of the world- In addition to the colonial architecture and the imposing houses of the historic Paseo de Montejo, Mérida and its surroundings have numerous vestiges and Mayan archaeological zones. An hour and a half from the city, is the castle of Chichen Itza, one of the seven wonders of the world and which, along with Uxmal, is a World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO. *By the way, 5 min. from the Anahuac Mayab University is the archaeological zone of Dzibilchaltún that houses the "Temple of the 7 dolls" and the Xlacah cenote, which reaches 44 m deep to give way to a wide horizontal and dark gallery, whose end is unknown. Even the houses have cenotes - Yes! Did you think you could only find them in tourist sites or archaeological sites?, because you are wrong. Cenotes have even been found in some private houses or commercial places (such as the Costco de Prolongación Montejo). Monument to the Homeland – With more than 300 hand-carved figures representing the history of Mexico, this monolith is an invaluable architectural and cultural gem for Meridanos. Inaugurated in 1956, it is the work of the Colombian sculptor Rómulo Rozo.
Each corner has its own history – Merida's historic center – the second largest in Mexico – is filled with numerous cafes, galleries, museums, restaurants, hotels. If you go through the city center, you will notice that the streets have numbers; the even numbers are for the north-south streets and the non numbers for the east-west streets. But in addition to this, the corners retain the names that were used in ancient times. For example, El nido, La cúpula, La letra, El sapito, El Gallito, El Degollado, among many others. Can you imagine the stories that each one will have? There is even a book about Tales of the corners of Mérida, written by Mtro. Jorge H. Alvarez Rendón, chronicler of the city. The Mayan culture is still alive – Whether in gastronomy, in the language that mixes Spanish with words and expressions of the Mayan language, in clothing and the characteristic "cross stitch", in music, in daily life... it is enough to tour the city, its neighborhoods, markets and surroundings. Yucatecans are very proud to be so, so we always try to share with others our culture and traditions.
There is even the Great Museum of the Mayan World, inaugurated in 2012 and located near the end of Prolongación Montejo (next to the Siglo XX Convention Center). This modern space -whose architectural design is inspired by the ceiba, sacred tree of the Mayans- is considered one of the most important in Latin America. It exhibits more than 1,000 archaeological pieces of the Mayan culture. It has a Mayamax Room and the Aerolito Room of Chicxulub... geological studies indicate that the extinction of the dinosaurs (65 million years ago) was due to the fall of an asteroid of 10 km in diameter approx., whose evidence is in the crater of Chicxulub (on the Yucatecan coasts). *By the way, among the collaborators for the construction of this museum, the office Duarte Aznar Arquitectos, of the Arch. Enrique Duarte Aznar, current director of the School of Architecture of the Anahuac Mayab University.
Today, Mérida celebrates 479 years of its foundation but remembers that its history, its legacy and its quality of life, depends daily on all of us who live in it so that it remains the best city in Mexico. Historical Overview Founded in the northern part of the Yucatan Peninsula on vestiges of an ancient Mayan settlement known as Ichcaanziho (five hills), the city of Mérida Yucatán is located; Distinguished by its traditions, culture, human quality and above all by the beauty that surrounds its streets and each of the enclosures that combine the magic of the past with the modernity of the present, characteristics that exalt it and make it worthy of the title of very noble and very loyal city of Mérida. Mérida is a place willing to share all its riches: from a buggy ride, a tour of its streets and architectural buildings, a visit to its museums, a regional show or the characteristic flavor of a Yucatecan dish. Interesting facts The word "Mérida" comes from the Latin "Emerita", the first name of a city founded by the Romans 25 years before Christ in Spain and which was called by its full name "Emerita Augusta", by Augustus, the Emperor and by the "Emeritus" or soldiers with whom it was populated. Of the ancient "Emerita Augusta" of the Roman Empire are daughters the Merida of Extremadura Spain; the Merida of Yucatan Mexico, and the Merida of Venezuela. They had almost 175 years to dominate the Natives, and they did it in two great stages: One they started in 1527 and after two attempts finally in 1547 they managed to establish themselves in the peninsular northwest. The other was started at the end of the sixteenth century when they began to invade the territory from the Sierrita Puuc to the Petén. Gonzalo Guerrero was a Spanish castaway who fought alongside the Maya against the invaders. According to the book of Chilam Balam, the first miscegenation of which there is a record in the history of Mexico occurred in the area known as Quintana Roo in 1511, after the arrival of the first Europeans, victims of a shipwreck. In 1551 Diego de Landa reached the guardianship of Izamal, where he undertook the great work of building a Christian church and a convent of Franciscans on the ruins of the Ppapp Hol Chac. In 1734 the Town Hall building was built. In 1843, Yucatan was ratified as an Autonomous State of the Republic, in l857 Campeche was separated.
In Mérida we offer you and your partner/family Spanish classes which are fun and very relaxed. Instruction is offered all year round by qualified native teachers.
Classes start on any day of the week in smalls groups of a maximum of 4 people. Teacher goes to your place (apartment, hotel or condo), your favourite café/restaurante or even on the beach !
The Regular Program (3 hours daily) includes daily:
* 3 hours - Spanish classes in a group or privately. Intensive grammar class with emphasis on speaking and writing.
- Functional class (for beginners)
- Role-playing situations of everyday life.
-Vocabulary expansion and other aspects of the language.
-Conversation classes on current events while visiting places of interest during the week.
Advantages in this program:
* One-on-one lessons or small groups (average of 3 people)
* Entertaining class atmosphere
* Easy learning interacting with classmates (your partner or family can attend the same class)
* Economical and safe program
Mérida Yucatán - Intensive Spanish Program
2022 Prices per week per person in USD
5 hours per day $550
4 hours per day $400
3 hours per day $300
Family Program: 2 hours per day (M-F)
Special price: $900 USD (for 6 people maximum).
No Enrollment fee!
The program is open all year round and classes normally start on Mondays. If you plan to take lessons during Apring, June, July, August, or December, you need to enroll at least 3 weeks previously online. If you are already in Mérida and want to take lessons, please drop us a message by WhatsApp +52 (777) 8050402