So for many months now, I’ve been walking by a particular statue by my job downtown. I never really gave it much thought until the other week because I noticed people kept taking their photo by the statue. Normally, I just wind my way around tourists taking pictures of the skyscrapers and the ‘Horses of Honor’ artwork decorating Michigan Avenue. I learned how to do that exceptionally well when I lived in playa.!! But for some reason, I was intrigued. Who was this man.? Why were people taking photos with him.? And so, on a rare warm day as I strolled by, I stopped to read the plaque affixed near the statue. The plaque read – Benito Juárez.! Are you kidding me.?!? Benito Juárez.!
Are you telling me, there is a statue of the former president of Mexico right outside my job.?! I’m sure I’ve mentioned several times in this blog that one of the main streets in Playa del Carmen is called Juárez. But who knew, Juárez would be so close to home too.!! The statue was sculpted by Julian Martinez and it is located on the Plaza of the Americas between the Realtor Building and the Wrigley Building in downtown Chicago. Wow.!
Benito Juárez (1806-1872) was president of Mexico for five terms from 1858 until 1872.!!! According to Illinois.gov, he had a very warm relationship with Abraham Lincoln. And this positive relationship was instrumental in creating a 150 year friendship between the state of Illinois and the country of Mexico.! Wow again.!! Sometimes, you really have to travel away to see your hometown in a different light. If I had never lived in Mexico, the statue of Benito Juárez would definitely be less significant to me. But because I did live there, I feel not just a connection back to Mexico from Chicago, but I also feel a little more global 🙂