The FARO de Oriente in Iztapalapa is one of the widely popular cultural centers in the FARO system. The Fábricas de Artes y Oficios (FARO) are some of the most heavily attended cultural centers in the city. Faro actually means “lighthouse” in Spanish, and the Iztapalapa installation is simultaneously a cultural center, an art school, a meeting point and a dance studio. The schedule is normally filled right out but here’s what a typical month looks like:
For international visitors with no Spanish, the offerings are a bit more limited. What’s not limited is the spirit of understanding and creativity that greets you at FARO de Oriente or any of the FAROs in the City.
The FARO de Oriente opened only in 2000. Originally designed as a building in the shape of a ship, it was intended to serve as the administrative headquarters for the Iztapalapa alcaldia. Architect Alberto Kalach, better known today for the stunning Vasconcelos library, unfortunately saw his project essentially abandoned by the mid-1990s.
In 2000, a group of poets working at converting abandoned public spaces into cultural spaces re-christened the site, and with it, the entire FARO system. Today, there are gardening workshops and the Alejandro Aura library, the 18,000 volumes of which were donated by Carlos Monsivais, the writer and critic, prior to his death in 2010.