Metro Etiopia is a remarkably beautiful Metro station given that its essential layout and structure is identical to several others on the same line. Perhaps it’s the way the sun can cascade through the ceiling panels, in front of the unique tile works. The rain can come through too. When they come together it’s something to see.
Up top, it used to be the Glorieta de Etiopia, named in support of the Independent Ethiopia after the Italian invasion in 1935. (Mexico was one of only five countries refusing to recognize Italy’s annexation of Ethiopia.) Today, the traffic roundabout has been converted into the chaotic intersection of the avenues Xola, Cuauhtémoc, Diagonal de San Antonio, and Cumbres de Maltrata. Luckily, the station has only two entrances/exits.
The lion’s head station logo is a reference to Ethiopia. Inside a plaque commemorates the 1954 visit to Mexico by Haile Selassie who was the Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974. It’s little known here, but the plaza has a twin traffic circle, still in Addis Ababa. That city’s light rail system stops at a station called ሜክሲኮ አደባባይ, that is, Mexico Square.
The station was known simply as Metro Etiopia until 2009 when the “Plaza de la Transparencia” was added to the name. This is to recognize the increasing importance of governmental transparency. And the fact that the Federal Institute of Access to Public Information is located right outside the station.
International visitors arrive at Metro Etiopia for the residential neighborhoods of Narvarte, including around the Plaza de Las Americas. In the other direction, the Diagonal de San Antonio runs down until it meet the Purísimo Corazón de María Church in Del Valle. Along the way there are plenty of sidewalk cafes, small eateries, and the other charms one expects in a thriving center city neighborhood.