Zocalo Gets A Facelift

That got the attention of those who don’t know what a zocalo is
BY: EDGAR GONZALEZ

Plaza Amelia Wilkes just got a facelift. What? Where? Maybe you’re not familiar with this plaza or it's name but we're sure you've been there or at least passed by it. This is the plaza where the Museum of Natural History of Cabo San Lucas is located. Right in front of the Church of St. Luke the Evangelist. Downtown Cabo. Still lost and dazed, Bunky? It’s right where all the darn construction has been going on since last summer. Yeah, now you’ve got it figured out.

The plaza was named for a do gooder who lived here in the early last century when we were called Pueblo nuevo. Translation is New town.

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This sign is a little cryptic, but that’s what we’re here for, and why you pay the big bucks for the paper: It reads KM. 0 and marks the start of the road that goes 1,059 kilometers to the border.

This lady, Mrs Wilkes, was a famous teacher who was involved in the development of Los Cabos as we know it today. She was the first female to hold a public position. She was also founder of the Professional Women's club. She asked the government for the land to build a school called “article 123” which was built which is on the corner of the park where the museum is today. And if this was not enough do gooding, she also was part of the committee that brought electricity and water services to the area.

The cost of the remodeling of the park was about 2.3 million dollars, and that included all the electrical system, 33 new street lamps, 52 new benches, 3 bicycle racks, 19 trash cans, 40 bollards, (A bollard is a sturdy, short, vertical post), and a renewal of the museum's façade. We also got a brand new gazebo, marble flooring and beautiful landscaping with lots of nice looking bushes. The trees that were taken out and stored were brought back. It truly is a beautiful park now. The only thing we didn’t get that we were expecting is bathrooms.

The plaza wasn't too old or terribly ugly to begin with but it was not inviting, either. It lacked good handicapped accesses, which it has now. It is also better suited for hosting crowds for cultural events. Besides, who does not like a facelift?

Before the remodel job, the plaza held a weekly kermesse where local families offered delicious snacks and Choyera style cuisine, as well as handicrafts. This was displaced during construction, but will probably be back, look for notice of it in our calendar. It was Friday nights.

The cool whale's skeleton on display is gone. It even had a name “the Thalia,” but it was missing bones and was not preserved properly. Authorities say they are working on either completing it or getting a complete one to put there for visitors to gawk at and get interested in going into the museum. The museum has collections on botanic, paleo-biology, anthropology and zoology. There is also an archeology room where you can see the remains of a Pericu woman, one of the earlier inhabitants of the Baja. You can also find exhibits on astronomy and history, and there is space for temporary expositions.

The inauguration event took place a couple of Friday afternoons ago, with the State's Governor Carlos Mendoza in attendance. So was our Mayor, Armida Castro. At the event taking credit also, were the secretary of urban planning and a plethora of local politicians with of course many speeches.

There is a new sign pointing out that this is km. 0, the start of the 1,059km. road to the border.

So enjoy the new plaza, visit the museum, or take a coffee or a meal while sitting on one of the 52 new benches. Be sure to use one of the 19 new trash cans.