The Plaza Mariana & Museo Guadalupana are two of the newer additions to the Basilica complex. Opened in 2011, the plaza extends from the Atrium of the Americas, outside the new Basilica building, nearly an equal distance. The entire enormous structure was a gift from the Carlos Slim Foundation. In the photo above, it’s directly behind the Basilica Clock Tower.
The Plaza Mariana includes:
The Esplanade. This is simply an open extension of the atrium of the Basilica so that more people can have more room.
The Evangelization Center. This includes an auditorium and meeting and events. International Congresses, organized by the Vatican, now counto on the Basilica of the Virgin of Guadalupe to act as the foremost Evangelizer to the Americas and to the world. The Evangelization Center allow pilgrims to better understand the Catholic and Marian faith and Mission. The space is also used for cultural events, concerts and similar events which are usually scheduled on Sundays.
The Comedor Publico. A reduced cost lunch room and cafeteria for those on a fixed budget.
The Columbarium. This includes niches for depositing urns of cremated ashes. Spaces can hold up to six urns.
The Guadalupano Museum. When complete, the new museum is intended to take over some of the work of the presently overcrowded Museo de la Basilica de Guadalupe. At this writing, the opening date has not been scheduled.
There’s also a Medical Consultancy and Listening Center. These are intended to provide immediate services to the poor and to pilgrims who arrive with no other options.
For visitors who made previous visits to the Basilica, the Plaza Mariana & Museo Guadalupana make it into a much bigger place. The very northeast corner of the complex touches on the Mercado Villa Zona 34, one more great and affordable place to eat. So if you’re hungry, there are a lot of options.