Photos: Alcaldía Miguel Hidalgo
The Parque Salesiano is a small neighborhood park just south of the giant Colegio Militar and the Cavalry Museum. The park is named for the Salesian Colegio and University directly to the south. These were founded in the 1890s.
The park was donated along with the Salesian schools, and the Church of María Auxiliadora, by the final two owners of the giant Hacienda of the Ascension of Christ. This colonial-era farm took up much of the territory of the ancient village of Tlaxpana.
With the closing of agricultural operations, business partners Eduardo Zozaya and Julia Gómez de Escalante subdivided much of the property. Escalante’s reputation for generosity was such that the neighborhood was dedicated to Santa Julia in her honor. Today, it’s divided into the four Anáhuac neighborhoods. The outdoor gym in the corner of the park is still sometimes known as the “Barras Santa Julia.”
The park is home to a well-regarded monument to Felipe Carrillo Puerto (see below). This was a gift to Mexico City from the State of Yucatán. The acclaimed sculptor Humberto Peraza y Ojeda (1925-2016) created the sculpture.
The Park is also home to the Faro del Saber Salesiano, a popular cultural and community center.
Felipe Santiago Carrillo Puerto (1874 - 1924) was a politician, journalist and revolutionary socialist. He was assassinated during his term as Governor of Yucatán from 1922 to 1924. Carrillo Puerto was active during the Caste War (1847-1915). Being partly Maya descent, he spoke the Mayan language, and led the removal of a fence intended to keep Maya people away from their ancestral lands. This landed him briefly in prison. He's especially well-remembered for the struggle for the welfare and rights of the Maya people as well as for supporting women's suffrage. As governor of Yucatán, he made his first public speech in the Mayan language. He was overthrown by rebels associated with the De La Huerta regime in Mexico City. 11 people were executed in a cemetery in Merida, among them Carrillo Puerto and three of his brothers.