The Parque del Mestizaje, about equally as often referred to as Gustavo A. Madero Park, is most famous for hosting the Monument to Indios Verdes. The giant, dignified, and poorly-respected former leaders of Mexico-Tenochtitlan are still not quite getting their due, even if their home park today is actually pretty interesting. One of the better parks in the area, it’s big enough to accommodate lots of people, lots of public spaces, and lots of art.
To understand the park name, and its message, it’s necessary to at least touch upon 20th-century ideas put forward most notably by one-time Secretary of Public Education, José Vaconcelos. Amidst the grand project of unifying a nation and a people, the idea of miscegenation was batted around for the first half of the 20th century especially. While there was also at least some dabbling in eugenics, most of these ideas, and to some extent the legacy of Vasconcelos and his philosophy, have been dismissed as but historical tangents.
The park opened only in 1978. It’s name already represented an idea nearly lost to the past, and thus it’s, as often as not, referred to as the Gustavo A Madero park, as it is the largest city park in the alcaldía.
The site had been for some 200 years the terminus of the old Guadalupe Aqueduct. The fountain, and the last stretch of aqueduct arches, make a real highlight to any visit to the park. For the park opening, the Spanish King, Juan Carlos I and Sofia joined then-Mexican president, José López Portillo, to place a statue of the Quixote in the park. The irony of such a gift apparently has never been fully appreciated.
The Gustavo A. Madero Park is home to several other prominent and even noteworthy sculptures. The Los Danzantes sculpture and Fountain (pictured above) contains several excellent works in Bronze. A “Monumento a la Patria,” with an indigenous person and conquistador beneath a female figure of “La Patria” still raises eyebrows and questions.
A small museum in the park is not reliably open, but will sometimes display the work of local artists.