Culture

The Mexico City Metro Map Has Gone Viral After Someone Published A Version Of It In English

Mexico City has one of the most used transportation systems in the world – more than 4.5 million people use it every single day. And it’s a big system too! It spans some 140 miles and has 195 stations. That’s impressive.

In tourist guides, the Metro is often recommended as the best way to skip the city’s notorious traffic.

But Mexico City’s Metro is in the news now for a totally different reason – its map. Or more specifically, the English translation of the system’s map.

It all started when a map of the CDMX Metro (in English) started making its rounds on Twitter.

Credit: @VonkLevi / Twitter

A map of the network of 12 lines translated into English began to circulate on Twitter, and for non-Spanish speaking foreigners, it seemed like a great idea. Now they’d be able to better understand the map.

But it hasn’t quite worked out that way because for many the translations are far off.

The names of metro stations are often historical in nature, highlighting people, places, and events in Mexican history. There are stations commemorating aspects of the Mexican Revolution, the nation’s Indigenous history, the country’s advances in science, medicine, and sports.

Even some Mexicans appreciated the map in English because they had never been able to easily translate the Nahuatl words into English.

Credit: @silvanolcoach / Twitter

Words like Tacubaya (where the water is gathered) and Chapultepec (Grasshopper Hill) have their origins in the ancient language of Nahuatl.

Few people also realize that Mexico City is home to one of the world’s few metro systems that have corresponding icons for every station.

Each station is identified by a minimalist logo, first designed by Lance Wyman, who had also designed the logo for the 1968 Mexico Olympics.

Logos are generally related to the name of the station or the area around it. At the time of Line 1’s opening, Mexico’s illiteracy rate was high. In fact, in 1960, 38% of Mexicans over the age of five were illiterate and only 5.6% of Mexicans over the age of six had completed more than six years of school.

Since one-third of the Mexican population could not read or write and most of the rest had not completed high school, it was thought that people would find it easier to guide themselves with a system based on colors and visual signs.

Although the icon system was designed with the illiterate in mind, it’s also a huge help to non-Spanish speaking visitors to the city.

That system of icons and colors carries over to today. Visitors to city often remark on how easy it is to navigate the Metro system because of it.

The CDMX Metro also prides itself on being inclusive of all Mexicans.

Credit: @MetroCDMX / Twitter

Mexico City, despite being in a traditional and conservative country, takes its Pride seriously.

Though, to be clear, the CDMX Metro isn’t always so cool…

In fact, it can be a pretty major nightmare for the millions of people who use the system each and every day.

It seems like every day there is a warning tweeted out about this line being delayed or that station being overcrowded.

READ: Mexico City Is One Of The Most Interesting Places In The World. Here Are The Facts That Prove It

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Seniors In Mexico City Turned Their Wait For The Vaccine Into A Disco Dance Off

Things That Matter

Seniors In Mexico City Turned Their Wait For The Vaccine Into A Disco Dance Off

Last week, Mexican officials launched the country’s COVID-19 vaccination program by beginning to vaccinate those 65 and over. But, just like in countries around the world, the roll out hasn’t exactly been ideal. Many residents in the nation’s capital have reported waiting in line for hours for their vaccine, with some even being forced to camp out overnight to make sure they receive their shot.

Despite the long waits, many seniors are turning the headache into something fun by having impromptu dance offs and even yoga classes.

Seniors lined up to get vaccinated turned the wait into a fun dance off to pass the time.

As Mexico begins vaccinating the general public – after months of giving vaccines to public health workers – seniors, who are first in line, are facing immense lines at vaccination sites across the country.

To help pass the time, many of those waiting in line have tried to make the wait more bearable by dancing to tunes such as disco classic “I Will Survive.”

Healthcare workers outside a vaccination center in a Mexico City suburb got the festivities started by encouraging those waiting for a Sputnik V shot to cut a rug in the street as music played over a sound system. One of the workers even belted out a few songs over karaoke backing tracks to entertain the seniors, some of whom had begun lining up on Wednesday night.

Many seniors lined up didn’t mind the wait since they were grateful for the vaccine.

Despite the hours long wait – with some even camping out overnight to ensure their access to the vaccine – many of those waiting were simply grateful for the shots.

With tears in his eyes, 67-year-old Juan Mario Cárdenas told Reforma that he has lost friends to Covid-19 and that getting vaccinated was a matter of life and death for him. He is one of almost 200,000 people in the Mexico City boroughs of Iztacalco, Xochimilco and Tláhuac who are expected to receive a first shot of the Sputnik V vaccine by the end of next week.

The country is rolling out its vaccination program using the Russian Sputnik V vaccine.

Inoculation with the Russian vaccine began in the capital – the country’s coronavirus epicenter – on Wednesday, nearly two weeks after the first AstraZeneca shots were given to people aged 60 and over in several of the city’s most affected suburbs.

About 1.9 million vaccine doses had been administered in Mexico as of Wednesday night, mainly to health workers and seniors. The government expects to receive more than 100 million doses from several companies by the end of May.

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Mexico City Celebrates Its 500th Birthday Amid A Pandemic And Mounting Violence

Culture

Mexico City Celebrates Its 500th Birthday Amid A Pandemic And Mounting Violence

Most of us are looking to 2021 with optimism, but for Mexico, this upcoming year won’t just be about saying goodbye to 2020. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) says 2021 will be the “year of independence and greatness” for Mexico, celebrating not only 500 years since the founding of Mexico City, but also 200 years since Mexico achieved its independence from Spain.

As Mexico City turns 500, the city faces many challenges and reasons to celebrate.

Pretty much the entire world was waiting for 2021 to arrive, so that we could all say adiós to 2020. But few places were as eager to welcome 2021 as Mexico was.

You see, it was in 1321 that the ancient city of Tenochtitlan (modern day Mexico City) was founded by the Aztecas, in 1521 the city was conquered and rebuilt by Spanish conquistadors, and in 1821 the nation gained independence from Spain. So you can see why 2021 is such a major year for Mexico.

President AMLO presented a plan to commemorate two centuries of Mexico’s Independence, the 700th anniversary of the founding of Mexico-Tenochtitlan and the 500th anniversary of the fall of the city that became the country’s capital city.

“Next year is the year of the Independence and the greatness of Mexico,” the president said, joined by Mexico City Head of Government Claudia Sheinbaum. In a detailed report on the year’s celebrations, IMSS head Zoé Robledo pointed out that the whole program includes 12 national events including tributes to national heroes, commemoration of relevant dates, exhibitions, parades and the traditional Independence celebration known as El Grito. Other events and celebrations are also expected in 65 cities across 32 states, starting on Feb. 14 in Oaxaca and ending on Sept. 30 in Michoacán.

The nation’s capital has been hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic and faces other serious challenges.

Like many major cities, Mexico City has been severely impacted by the pandemic. It’s the epicenter of the health crisis in Mexico with more than 500,000 confirmed cases and nearly 25,000 deaths. In recent weeks, hospital occupancy has surpassed 90% meaning there’s little to no room for people to be treated. Meanwhile, the government has come under fire for a lack of any economic security to those who have been forced to go without work as the city of more than 20 million people was placed under lockdown. 

In addition to the health crisis, a growing issue of cartel violence has plagued parts of the capitol – a city once thought immune to the cartel wars that rage in other corners of the country. In 2020, violence in the capital broke records with brazen attacks on elected officials and bloody turf wars between long standing gangs and the Cártel Jalisco Nueva Generación.

But the city also has many reasons to be optimistic in 2021.

Mexico City remains the epicenter of progressivism in the country and that can be seen in the many policies put forward in recent months. With a focus on protecting women’s safety and health and empowering the LGBTQ community, Mexico City is emerging as a safe space for some of the country’s most maligned citizens. 

The city is also undergoing a rapid transformation to a greener society with bans on single-use plastics and a move towards greener policies. From the city’s southern districts to its historical center, the city is also seeing major beautification works to help increase its draw to international tourists – of whom the city has come to rely on for the much needed tourist dollar.

“2021 will be a remarkable year for the city — a city that welcomes all and provides a home for people of all ages and nationalities, which has resulted in a unique cultural hybrid,” says Paulina Feltrin, director of marketing and communications at The St. Regis Mexico City. “I hope this becomes another reason for international and domestic travelers to come celebrate with us.”

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