Utopia Atzintli is one of the 12 Utopias of Iztapalapa. Like all of them, it’s a combination sports center and cultural meeting point. Unlike most of the others, Atzintli is built atop a previous water-themed sports center and park. But the Utopia Atzintli carries the theme a bit further.
The former La Quebradora Water Park, next door to a water-treatment plant, was designed a catchment area for rainwater. Quebrador could be translated simply as “catchment,” as unusual as that word is in English.
The first park opened just in 2018. Importantly, engineers designed that park to prevent flooding on this stretch of the busy Calzada Ermita-Iztapalapa. During the rainy months of the year, it occurred all too often. The park also helps to keep water clean before it enters the subsoil beneath the city. But before you think “sewage plant,” that next-door treatment plant was developed at the same time as a combined biological anaerobic plant and an artificial wetlands system. It’s mostly used to clean street runoff water.
Relaunched in 2020, the new name, Atzintli, is simply the Nahuatl expression for “my waters.” And so the theme lives on. Today, the combined sports and cultural center is especially important for communities on the northern slopes of the Sierra de Santa Catarina. Among these are of course, the Colonia Xalpa to the immediate south. But also the colonias Citlalli, Buenavista, and Tenorios use the Utopia. The historic pueblo Santa María Aztahuacán is also very nearby.
International visitors will often stop in just for the incredible views. The Sierra de Santa Catarina is to the south. In that direction, the Cablebús stops in Colonia Xalpa. It’s about a 15-minute walk. Right in the middle, on the Av. de las Minas, is the famous Mercado Quetzalcoatl. That makes the journey into something of a treat.
Hours: All the Utopia Sports and Cultural Centers are open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.