The Parque El Reloj is the center of the neighborhood of the same name. It began as the grounds of an early cultural and community center that was built in 1994. This was the work of the community that came to inhabit the northern reaches of the Santa Úrsula Coapa hacienda. Historically, the estate was surrounded by farmland. The original settlement we see today, one of seven in Coyoacán, had been an important town even in the ancient period.
By the mid-20th century, the town was overgrowing its boundaries. And so the Colonia El Reloj came to be. Residents realized they wanted a communal space only somewhat later. And surprisingly, the first attempt failed. Built in 1994, it was abandoned and remained derelict until it was reopened in 2001. A second surprise is in that’s one of very few of the current PILARES centers to have replaced an already successful and even thriving community center. It was relaunched again as an official PILARES in 2019.
Today’s PILARES El Reloj is a buzzing center of courses, and classes, and learning. Though the famously muraled building is just 350 square meters, the entire park is frequently put to use by visitors and particpants and students.
The center and the Parque Reloj are particularly important to young people, taking art classes and puppet workshops. It serves as something of a local employment and re-training center, too. But for residents, the park is that much-needed stretch of green that gives meaning to the surrounding homes and streets.
Hours: PILARES, weekdays, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. The park is open 24 hours.