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08/17/2012

Mexico's curious 'meeting points'

Photo
Anyone who wonders around in urban areas of Mexico is likely to see signs like the one above in the most unlikely places.

It is a symbol for a “meeting point,” and it appears everywhere. I saw the one in the photo early this morning on a sidewalk in the Roma district of Mexico City.

A few weeks ago, I saw a “meeting point” sign in the middle of a barren field near the Queretaro airport. I’ve seen them in traffic lanes in parking garages, along roads, and other places where one would only send one’s worst enemy for a “meeting.”

This has been in the back of my mind for a while. At first, I thought it was some sort of practical joke or a bizarre region-wide performance art exhibition. On looking around the internet, I see that in fact there might be a logic to it. Rather than a “meeting point” in a U.S. sense, where you go if lost or separated from your party, these points are gathering spots in case of natural disaster. At least that’s what this Spanish-language answer website says. Another explanation says that in case of fire or earthquake, citizens are to gather at the sites to let relief officials know they are okay.

Aw, I kinda preferred believing this was a work of art, or some unknown symbol that had appeared with shades of Roswell, N.M. 

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Irma

They are safe spots to gather in case of earthquake, this should be there to comply with safety measures..... Not some art of work or any kind of joke.

Trever

Here's how it works:

You're a politician in Mexico.. you have a buddy with a paintbrush.. you hire him for 1M pesos to paint green squares with white arrows at various points through the city. You collect 200,000 pesos as a reward for giving the contract. The city gets a hundred painted squares for a couple of years.

and there you go.

Serenity Escapes

I also think it to be some sort of silly performance art....I mean, it makes more sense than the official explanation

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Tim

This blog is written by Tim Johnson, the Mexico bureau chief for McClatchy Newspapers.

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