The Disembarking of Columbus is a rather small nevertheless well detailed 19th century marble sculpture by an unknown artist. It sits on the MUNAL Museo Nacional de Arte / National Art Museum in Mexico City.
It depicts many scenes, from the amazement of Columbus to the indigenous woman with a child tuning their back on them. The crew is actively securing the ship and one of the sailors is kissing the land they set their feet on as a grateful gesture for safely arriving.
You can see how goods are downloaded from the ship into the land as other sailor secures the vessel from a rough sea, and another sets a flag as a sign of conquest.
Animals carved on the sides of the ship. An elephant on the bow, a lion on the side, some birds and sea creatures along with serpents, angels and an ox at the stern.
This sculpture is a work I really enjoy, and I take pictures to it every time I go to that museum. The light it has is not enough for a good photograph and flashes are prohibited. Maybe next time with a different lens I may take better photos to show you how amazing this piece really is.
Now you are in the mood for some thoughts about social media.
Social media has come a long way since its inception. In its early days, social media platforms were primarily used to connect people with one another and share their lives with friends and family. However, over the years, social media has evolved to become a powerful tool for businesses, marketers, and advertisers to reach potential customers.
One of the most significant changes in social media has been the shift towards decreasing user discoverability. In the past, social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter were designed to make it easy for users to find and connect with one another. However, as social media platforms have become more crowded and competitive, some platforms have started to prioritize monetization over user experience.
As a result, platforms like Instagram and TikTok have made changes to their algorithms that have made it more difficult for users to be discovered. These changes have been particularly frustrating for content creators and small businesses who rely on social media to reach their audiences.
On Instagram, for example, the algorithm favors posts that are likely to receive engagement quickly. This means that posts from accounts with large followings or those that receive a lot of likes and comments are more likely to be seen by users. For smaller accounts, this can make it incredibly difficult to grow their audience.
Similarly, on TikTok, the platform has made changes to its “For You” page algorithm, which is the main way that users discover new content. The algorithm now favors content from popular creators and videos that are likely to keep users engaged for longer periods of time. This can make it difficult for new creators to gain traction on the platform.
While these changes may be frustrating for users, they are understandable from the perspective of the platforms. Social media companies are for-profit businesses, and their primary goal is to generate revenue. By prioritizing content that is likely to keep users engaged and active on the platform, social media companies can attract more advertisers and generate more revenue.
However, these changes also highlight the need for users to diversify their online presence. Relying solely on social media to reach an audience is risky, as platforms can make changes to their algorithms at any time. By building an email list, creating a website, and engaging with their audience on multiple platforms, content creators and businesses can mitigate the risk of being negatively impacted by changes in social media algorithms.
The changes in social media algorithms that prioritize monetization over user discoverability can be frustrating for users. However, these changes are understandable from the perspective of social media companies, and they highlight the importance of diversifying one’s online presence. As social media continues to evolve, it will be interesting to see how these changes impact user behavior and the overall landscape of online marketing.
On my previous trip to Chile I learned about San Cristobal Hill. The main reason for me to go there was the Cable Car and a park. I didn’t know it would have many other attractions and such an interesting history.
Among the many things San Cristobal Hill has are the sight to Santiago from atop, a beautiful view when the day is clear (1st photo), the cable car, the funicular, the National Zoo (you have to go there and see the Humboldt’s penguins ), botanical garden, and the Adventure Park, for what I can recall.
I stumbled upon Juan Medina Torres’ narrative about the history of San Cristobal Hill. I commend you all to read this post, the historical description of the place is quite interesting.
On January 19, 1540, Pedro de Valdivia, field master of the conqueror of Peru Francisco Pizarro, in a religious ceremony held in Cusco, solemnly promised to found a city under the invocation of the Apostle Santiago and build a church consecrated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, in the territories that it would conquer. The next day, as Lieutenant Governor, along with eight soldiers and some Indians, he began the historic march to the south.
Eleven months later, the expedition with 150 Spaniards on horseback and on foot, followed by a thousand charging Indians, reached the Mapocho valley and camped at the foot of the San Cristóbal, probably in front of what is now Purísima street. The caravan was accompanied by a single white woman, Inés Suárez, and three clerics.
For the construction of the image of the Virgin, the work of the sculptor Ignazio Jacometti, who presides over the column of the Spanish Steps in Rome, was chosen as a model. The image was commissioned from the Societé Anonyme des Hauts Forneaux & Fonderies du Val d’Osne foundry in Paris. The Chilean Minister in France, Enrique Salvador Sanfuentes, paid special attention to all the details of the manufacture of its different parts, being, due to its art, size, solidity and weight –36,610 kilos– one of the main ones in the world at that time.
The image, made of cast iron, cost, including transportation expenses, 35,724 francs, which in national currency meant 22,247 pesos. Its height is 14 meters and with a pedestal it reaches 22.30 meters. The construction works of the pedestal and the placement of the statue were carried out by the Dutch Construction Company for the sum of 40 thousand pesos of the time (Editor’s Note: as a reference, the annual salary of an ambassador at the time was approximately 26 thousand pesos). The engineer Cornelio Wistenenh was in charge of the works and the different parts of the image were raised to the summit in carts and logs pulled by oxen.
To one side of the statue there is also a small chapel, consecrated to the Maternity of the Virgin Mary, where parishioners can pray, the Blessed Sacrament is permanently reserved, and Holy Mass is celebrated on Sundays and holidays.
To build the pedestal, which forms a chapel, an eight-meter excavation was made; the lower part of the plinth is much heavier than the upper part, so that the center of gravity is four and a half meters from the ground. Reinforced concrete was used, one of the most modern techniques of those years. Inside there is an altar that belonged to Pope Pius IX, when he was Secretary of the Nunciature in Chile. The floor of the chapel is 863.94 meters above sea level and 288.50 meters above Plaza Baquedano.
The Funicular and the Cerro San Cristóbal Cable Car are two means of transport of extraordinary importance in the transformation of this emblematic place in the city into a great viewpoint.
On May 7, 1923, a group of investors met in the halls of Banco Italiano to set up a company whose purpose was to “finance the construction of a funicular in Parque San Cristóbal”. This is stated in the minutes of that first meeting for the constitution of the future Public Limited Company chaired by the Minister of Italy Fortunato Castoldi and attended by Messrs. Tomaso Mancini, commercial attaché to the Italian Legation; Natalio Farinelli; Emilio Cintolesi; Bruneto Cintolesi; Cesar Andrei; Francisco Allera; Luigi Scolari; Carlos Mina; Silvio Construcci; Carlos Cariola; Sebastiano Moletto and the engineer Ernesto Boso Pezza.
After a few months of processing, on November 19, 1923, the Funicular San Cristóbal Limited Company was established, by means of a public deed before Notary Public Fernando Errázuriz Tagle. Said document stipulated a share capital of $1,200,000 divided into 60,000 shares of $20 each, which were sold to 465 people, mostly Italians.
On Saturday, November 24, 1923, the laying ceremony of the first stone of the funicular was held. On the esplanade that Plaza Caupolicán currently occupies, a ramada was set up for the guests and at approximately 5 in the afternoon, Mayor Alberto Mackenna arrived at the scene; the Plenipotentiary Minister of Italy in Chile, Fortunato Castoldi; the Mayor of Santiago, Rogelio Ugarte; ministers, members of the Diplomatic Corps and members of the construction society.
On the occasion, Alberto Mackenna highlighted the effort and collaboration of the Italian colony in the development plans for Cerro San Cristóbal.
Work immediately began on the new elevator that would allow easy access to the summit. The project and the technical direction of the works were in charge of the engineer Ernesto Boso Pezza, assisted by the engineer Juan Nelly. The architects of the stations were Carlos Landa and Luciano Kulczewski.
Finally, on Saturday, April 25, 1925, hundreds of people attended the official inauguration of the San Cristóbal funicular. The main station building was adorned with the flags of Chile and Italy and, in his speech, Emilio Cintolessi highlighted the role of Alberto Mackenna as the true inspirer of this work of progress for the city.
On November 16, 2000, the Ministry of Education issued Decree No. 515, declaring the Cerro San Cristóbal Funicular Historical Monument, considering that this complex cable transport has special relevance within the elements of the city of Santiago and that its presence has remained in force in the collective memory of its inhabitants.
The cable car
As Alberto Mackenna thought, the mechanical advances did not end with the funicular, since the dream of the visionary Mayor was to transform the wild hill into a great recreation and leisure center, which could only be made a reality through easy access and adequate transportation.
On May 19, 1977, a concession contract was signed before Notary Public Maximiliano Concha Rivas to build and operate a cable car in the Metropolitan Park for a period of 25 years. This concession contract was signed by: Ricardo González Cortes, for the construction and mining company Ábalos González S.A., Ernesto Hald Herrera, for the Metropolitan Park, Erich Krohmer Heim, for the Metropolitan Housing and Urbanization Service.
On October 20, 1978, the deed of formation of the Sociedad de Transportes Mecanizados y Turismo San Cristóbal Limitada was signed before the Notary Public, Alvaro Bianchi Rosas. The construction of the cable car began in 1979 and was inaugurated on Tuesday, April 1, 1980, after months of hard work.
Of all that can be done in Santiago de Chile, is to walk through its streets to see street art. In the Franklin neighborhood to the south of the Chilean capital there are a significant number of works of this style. A cultural pole is developed here, where there is also a central square that hosts concerts and fairs. In the end, graffiti is a format-free art, no rules in styles or or techniques.
Sometimes ephemeral and other times permanent, but always renewable. There is an evident need for expression, of any kind, that the emotional moment of the city teaches us, whether it expresses rebellion or the need to pay attention to society’s needs.
It is worth walking the streets and admiring the works of art that have may not live for ever. Observe the bright colors and the whimsical shapes, some unknown and others very representative of well-known characters.
Also in another city in Chile, Valparaiso, there is an immense amount of street art. There is practically no street that is not adorned by a painting or a mural. I will show you in a future post.
The Recoleta graveyard is one of Buenos Aires places to visit. Many of the people buried here were important to the history of Argentina, like Eva Perón – Evita, and some presidents like Raúl Alfonsin. Some of the names in this graveyard are the names of main avenues in the city.
There are 4,691 vaults above ground where 94 of them have been declared National Historic Monuments.
Many of the graves are decorated with massive sculptures from heroic motives to humble ones.
I have chosen just a few to show here.
The Recoleta neighbourhood is known for its French architecture, museums and art exhibits.
I have not been out much lately because you know, pretending to be safe.
There are a lot of photographs from previous trips still to be shared that I didn’t do in the past, so I will start with one of the cities of the world (from the few I know) that I like best. And now that I write about it, I realize that we get attached to places not only because of the way things look like, but also for their people, their special places, their customs and your experiences when being there.
I started going to Buenos Aires in 2005 and from then on, I didn’t get bored of the city. I would always get to know more and more, even made some friends that still after these many years are around. Strange. It is funny how we can keep friends that know so little about us for the simple reason that they are only interested in your well being. It doesn’t really has to do with who you work for, your political ideas or any other thing. They only care about you.
Is that hard to get? well, it really depends on who you are, how you approach to new experiences and your willingness to do what frightens you, to dare to bond and make relationships for the sake of sharing.
I will be posting a series of photographs from this old Cemetery, which bears the same name as its neighborhood, Recoleta.
This is Madero avenue in Mexico City downtown. Madero avenue used to be opened for cars, now it is a promenade. This avenue will lead you to the Zocalo, the main plaza of the city (195mts x 240mts). Next to Zocalo is the Cathedral which is the largest in Latin America. It took 250 years to be built. I think I will write a post about the Cathedral.
The Pre-Hispanic City of Teotihuacan was one of the largest urban centers in the ancient world, which had a population of more than 100,000 inhabitants at its peak. Located in a valley rich in natural resources, Teotihuacan was the seat of power of one of the most influential Mesoamerican societies in the political, economic, commercial, religious and cultural spheres, whose features permanently marked the peoples of the Mexican highlands, passing time and reaching us with the same strength and greatness with which its builders planned it. -INHA, National Institute of Anthropology and History.
The area open to public visits has an area of 264 hectares, where the main complexes of monumental buildings are concentrated, such as The Citadel and the Temple of the Feathered Serpent, the Calzada de los Muertos and the residential complexes that flank it, the Pyramids of the Sun and Moon, the Palace of Quetzalpapálotl and 4 departmental groups with important examples of mural painting, such as Tetitla, Atetelco, Tepantitla and La Ventilla, as well as 2 other housing complexes called Yayahuala and Zacuala.
At least once I year I go Teotihuacan, well, not true since this year has been hectic. Either way, it takes me about one hour and a half to get there since these pyramids are not within the city (another archeological site, or several of them are.) I believe you may find this interesting, nevertheless is not that much for me since I have been going there since I was a kid.
There are many tourist from practically everywhere due to the importance the Aztec and Mexica culture have had in the world. (Noted the word Mexica?). By the way, since we are in this conversation. According to one legend, the war deity and patron of the Mexica Huitzilopochtli possessed Mexitl or Mexi as a secret name. Mexico would then mean “Place of Mexi” or “Land of the War God.” Another hypothesis (the most referenced to) is that Mēxihco derives from a portmanteau of the Nahuatl words for “moon” (mētztli) and navel (xīctli): The Navel of the Moon.
And, this is the place I take my foreign friends to when they come visit me, so now you know where you will be landing!
For the peoples that preceded Teotihuacan, this site had a predominantly sacred meaning. Various historical sources indicate that the Aztecs and their rulers came to these ruins to pray and celebrate rites. Later Teotihuacan was a point of reference since the beginning of the Spanish occupation; and at present it is recognized as one of the most outstanding testimonies of ancient urbanism and state development, which is why it is an object of interest to researchers from Mexico and the world, who through different scientific disciplines continue to explore its complexity.
The archaeological remains of the ancient city are visited each year by thousands of people, making the site one of the largest tourist attractions in the country.
The recognition of the site as cultural heritage is universal, since since 1987 it has been part of the UNESCO World Heritage list.
Services available in the Archaeological Zone of Teotihuacan
The archaeological zone has two specialized museums: the Teotihuacan Culture Museum and the “Beatriz de la Fuente” Museum of Teotihuacan Murals, as well as a temporary exhibition room located in the building known as “ex-museum”. Other areas in which archaeological pieces are exhibited are the Sculptural Garden and the garden south of the San Juan River; It also has a botanical garden of traditional flora, an open-air theater and the headquarters building of the Teotihuacan Studies Center.
Due to the size of the Archaeological Zone, it is very difficult to enjoy all its cultural offerings in a single visit, however there are routes designed to make the most of the routes, depending on the particular interests of each visitor.
Note: Yes, I took these photos.
(Did I mention I don’t like the new WP editor and I didn’t find a way to use the old one?)