Installation of a new youth play area in Parque Juárez begins
By Ann Hillers
Walk to Parque Juárez any sunny afternoon and you’ll see scores of kids gleefully running, climbing, crawling, and swinging on sturdy, safe equipment in the new children’s playground on calle Aldama. Thanks to the municipality of San Miguel and the volunteers at Amigos del Parque who raised the funds and designed and supervised construction of the playground, the city’s younger children have been able to enjoy this creative play space since its grand opening in November 2012.
Now it’s time for older children and adults to have a space of their own. Under the thoughtful supervision of Amigos del Parque and in cooperation with the city, plans are under way for a Youth Play Area to break ground in May. With Parque Juárez already the life blood of the city, hosting band practice, basketball leagues, joggers, dog walkers, Amigos del Parque is working to enhance the park community with a gathering spot where San Miguel’s teens and active adults can exercise and socialize together.
Obstacle Course and Parkour Workouts
The Youth Area, open to people aged 12 and older, will be constructed in two areas of the park. Next to the secondary basketball court at the south end of the park will be a series of workout stations and outdoor gym equipment provided by the city. On the east side of the walkway that bisects the park from Baeza to Sollano will be a Parkour training station constructed by local ironworker, Miguel Peyret, aided by Parkour specialist Elias Guerrero.
Parkour is a holistic workout discipline using movements developed in military obstacle-course training. Practitioners aim to get from A to B in the most efficient way possible. They do this using only their bodies and their surroundings to propel themselves. It can include running, climbing, swinging, vaulting, jumping, or rolling, whatever movement is most suitable for the terrain. There is no official list of “moves” in Parkour, however the style in which practitioners move often sets them apart from others. (Current class schedule: Saturdays 8am–10am for youth 16 years and older; and 10am–12pm for children aged 8–12; 15 pesos. For more information contact Elias at email@example.com.)
San Miguel teens who attend Elias’ Saturday morning classes burn off loads of energy: running towards a high wall and then jumping and pushing off the wall with a foot to reach the top of the wall; vaulting over obstacles; jumping and landing accurately with the feet on small or narrow obstacles; or jumping and catching a ledge with their hands while their feet land on the vertical surface below. With the construction of a dedicated Parkour area in the Youth Park more kids can take part in this holistic health craze. They can also do it on their own, at their own speed.
How to help with Phase Two
The municipality will fund the construction of the workout stations and an obstacle course as Amigos del Parque raises funds for the Parkour area, the landscaping, and maintenance of the site. Volunteers will be stationed at an information table during the Candelaria, which runs through Monday, February 10, to raise awareness of this vital Phase Two. Maps are available to show you the site of the Youth Area and its installations. For more information please contact Guiomar Paradies, President, Amigos del Parque, firstname.lastname@example.org, or to make an online, tax-deductible donation, visit their site at www.amigosdelparquesma.org. Donations are critical for this very important Parque Juarez improvement project. Please consider helping out San Miguel and its youth community. It’s your park; it needs you!