A morning stroll to see the Puerto Vallarta catrina
The Puerto Vallarta catrina is the talk of the town. Everything is about it, and for a reason. Starting a few weeks back, it was announced that the city government would build a catrina tall enough to get the record of the Tallest Catrina in the World. And sure, the tallest catrina in the world was standing on the Malecón (more on that below).
So, with Sunday being my day off, I decided to go take a look as early as possible. With my better half in one hand and Chispa in the other, I took off. We arrived at the northern end of the Malecon just after 9. The Daylight-Saving Time had just ended a few hours before to never come back. The place was already full of people.
The first part of the stroll was mainly uneventful. The usual crowd jogging, walking their dogs, all taking in the early sun as it raised behind the mountains. It was a good crowd for such an early hour, though. Puerto Vallarta is quickly recovering its old crowded shape.
Then we came to Corona Street and the real fun began. Skulls stood right there to greet you and prepare you for the big star of the installation. Alondra Muca decorated them as a preamble to her majestic catrina work.
And so, right on the corner of Paseo Diaz Ordaz and Matamoros Street, there was she in all her magnificence. It was surely an impressive sight. A distiguished lady in a side-slitted blue dress crowned with a feathered hat stood tall, as tall as 23 meters, or 75.5 feet.
She was nonchalantly looking south while everybody walked around her and posed and took pictures. It was as if we were trying to call her attention but were not worthy of a glimpse of her unexisting eyes. Rather, they were directed toward the horizon, gazing at things unreachable to the mere common below.
Who is the artist behind the catrina?
The catrina is the creation of Puerto Vallarta native Alondra Muca. She has devoted her work mainly to Mexican traditions, and this catrina is the latest example. Its construction aimed at being the tallest catrina in the world, and it was for a few days, as the town of Misantla, Veracruz, erected one three days later. It is said to be 5 meters (16 feet) taller. However, it will be on Wednesday November 2 when the Guinness Book of Records will give the definitive result.
Back to my Sunday morning. You could feel the excitement the full installation caused in the public. People marveled at the gentle giant, but it was not all. A few steps away, you could admire a number of characters in their catrina versions. Puerto Vallarta hotels and businesses set up their versions it, and they didn't let anyone down.
When you visit the installation – and you have to, do not miss it – you will see Elvis, Michael and Marilyn siding The Beatles as they cross Abbey Road in their beyond characterizations. A member of the Canadian Mounted Police stands guard by the beach by his horse. Neptune watches his domains vigilantly. A traditional charro couple waits for their time to perform again. Even an eco-friendly catrina wearing a skirt made with recycled bottle caps sees strollers pass.
All in all, there are over 30 catrina figures set up for your enjoyment. I don't have enough space to show them all here, which is a shame. A common effort from the city government, businesses and citizens brings about more reasons to visit Puerto Vallarta. And as of date of publishing, we still have the Altars to visit. You can see the full calendar of activities organized by the city here.