Photo: Alcaldía Cuauhtémoc
The Mercado Paulino Navarro was renovated over a long period between 2018 and 2022. Work was interrupted by the COVID19 pandemic, but the results were outstanding. Although it’s long been a prominent heir to the old La Viga fish markets, by the end of the 20th century it was almost unrecognizable.
In fact, it’s long been a neighborhood market for both Col Paulino Navarro and for neighboring Colonia Vista Alegre. The two were once proudly isolated on the island of Tultenco at the very south of ancient Tenochtitlan. This was later integrated with Zoquiapan, the ancient city’s southeast. The name only survives in the neighborhood street and in the Santa Cruz Tultenco chapel.
The Franciscans established an outpost here early in the Colonial Period. By the end of the 19th Century, the area was famous for the most important military uniform supplier, a French-owned factory called COVE. By 1905, the Colonia La Paz was formalized by the Spanish millionaire, Iñigo Noriega. He divided and profited from the subdivision of the land but by the close of the Mexican Revolution, nearly all of the property was taken back by President Venustiano Carranza.
The neighborhood was then renamed for the General Paulino Navarro during the administration of President Lázaro Cárdenas.
In 2022, the market was thoroughly modernized to better serve the seriously ancient neighborhood. It’s a good place to learn something about the La Viga Area, and the very south of ancient Tenochtitlan.