Apart from being an obligatory destination for tourists, the Zona Rosa Mexico is the most gay-friendly area of Mexico City, and this is its history. All at some point we have gone to Zona Rosa. Whether for a walk, to go to cafes and restaurants, or to enjoy the festive atmosphere that prevails in the clubs and bars.
Most of the time we do not allow ourselves to enjoy the other faces that the Colonia Juarez or Zona Rosa offer us; its history, legacy, or architecture go unnoticed. And we do not measure everything that has happened over the years so that we can enjoy this emblematic area of Mexico City.
The Juarez colony for the bourgeoisie
At the end of the 19th century, the country was experiencing rapid economic growth. In Mexico City, the bourgeoisie sought to leave the downtown area because of the large number of people passing through and because of deficiencies in public services. The then-councilman of the City of Mexico, Rafael Martinez de la Torre, was responsible for urbanizing the western region of the city. However, the project was stopped by the death of Martínez de la Torre. It was until the last decade of the nineteenth century when the area already had streets and land subdivision.
The company Mexico City Improvement Company was responsible for initiating the urbanization process. In 1906, the new colony was named Juarez, as a tribute to the centenary of the birth of Benito Juárez. As the colony was destined to the bourgeoisie, most of the land was large, with the aim of housing large mansions and mansions in the European style. Similarly, the colony had all public services, such as drainage, lighting, and wide avenues.
The emergence of the Zona Rosa
Over the years, the Juarez colony was filled with commercial spaces, such as boutiques, restaurants, art galleries, among others. Many of the buildings were modified to house these establishments. At the same time, new residential areas such as Polanco, Lomas de Chapultepec, and Del Valle emerged, so that the high society moved to these new colonies. The partial "abandonment" of the Juárez facilitated the establishment of commercial premises and the appearance of functionalist-style buildings.
In the area between the avenues Paseo de la Reforma, Chapultepec, Insurgentes, and Florencia, a large number of bars, cafes, shops, and bookstores emerged. This space would be known as Zona Rosa. Thanks to its wide range of tourism and gastronomy, during the 1968 Olympic Games and the 1970 World Cup, the Zona Rosa became a meeting point to celebrate sports victories.
Why is it called Zona Rosa? It is not known for sure where the name came from. One of the theories says that Vicente Leñero wrote: "She is too shy to be red and too daring to be white". The name of this area is also awarded to the writer José Luis Cuevas, who named the Zona Rosa in honor of the Cuban actress Rosa Carmina. It is also believed that it is called this way because, in its origins, many buildings were painted pink.
A space for the LGBT community
The Colonia Juarez, and therefore, Zona Rosa, suffered great damage after the 1985 earthquake: several buildings collapsed and others resulted in structural damage. A large part of the population emigrated to other areas of the city, causing a decline in Juarez and Zona Rosa. It was in the 90s when the joyful, festive and inclusive atmosphere came to the Zona Rosa after the opening of clubs and bars with LGBT themes, although there are also bars, restaurants, hotels, erotic shops, among others.
Every weekend it is common to find a large number of people from the LGBT + community, businessmen, students, or tourists who come to this place to take advantage of the nightlife that characterizes the Zona Rosa. Now you can enjoy Zona Rosa Mexico City from a new perspective.