La Juventud (Youth) is a 1964 sculpture by Francisco Zúñiga. It was placed, nearly at this site, in 1964 at the dedication of one of the bigger early expansions of the Zacatenco campus of the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN, one of the most important universities in the country). Since then, Zacatenco has grown into nearly the main campus of the university.
It was a big year for Zúñiga. He had two sculptures placed in the New Chapultepec. Today that’s known as the Second Section of Chapultepec. Receiving just a fraction of the number of visitors as Chapultepec’s first section, it’s a fitting site for the contemplative Nuclear Physicists Fountain and the nearby Fuente de las Ninfas, Both were also dedicated in 1964. Zúñiga’s giant “Hombre saliendo de la tierra” (Man Going Out from the Earth) in Campeche was somehow also dedicated in the same year.
The sculpture recalls especially the “Muchachas corriendo” (Girls Running) at the center of the Fountain of the Nymphs. But here, the figures are clearly reaching for a future that’s within reach. IPN today offers 80 undergraduate programs that lead bachelor’s degrees. No fewer than 135 postgraduate programs lead to some 29 postgraduate diplomas, 70 master’s degrees and 36 different doctoral degrees. It’s easily among the top universities in the country, and for fields in the sciences, technology, and engineering, IPN is number one.
The Zacatenco Campus is visited from Metro Politécnico, Perhaps more fun for international visitors, nearly all of the campus is plainly visible to the north, right after boarding Cablebús Line One, from the Indios Verdes station.