Macha Mexico: A Lesbian Guide to Mexico City Rotating Header Image

Ciudad Universitaria

CU or Ciudad Universitaria, the gigantic campus of the UNAM, is divided into two areas:

The first one, closer to Insurgentes Avenue, consists of the most representative buildings of the campus: the Jardin Botánico (Botanic Garden), the Olympic Stadium, decorated by Diego Rivera’s murals, the Torre de Rectoría (decorated with a three-dimensional mural by David Alfaro Siqueiros), the Biblioteca Central—characteristically decorated by Juan O’Gorman, and the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo.

As in every lesbian-college-community in the world, there are some faculties or studies that are preferred among machas. In CU, the Facultad de Filosofía y Letras and the Facultad de Psicología are the most famous, although it is common for your gaydar to activate when you visit the Architecture, Economics or Design Departments.

Also in this area, you can find the CEPE (Centro de Enseñanza Para Extranjeros or Center of Studies for Foreigners) where they offer courses about the History and Culture of Mexico. Classes are in Spanish, but are designed for foreigners.

The second area is located at the south, and is characterized by the cultural activities that take place here. The main building is the Centro Cultural Universitario, which helds a series of theatres in which you can enjoy dance, theatre, music, and movies. It also has a café and a bookstore. In front of this zone, you can go the Espacio Escultórico and the Universum Museo de las Ciencias.

CU was built between 1949 and 1952, in order to centralize the faculties spread in Mexico City’s downtown. CU symbolizes a nationalistic project, and most important, the ideal of an education that entitles anyone to university tuition. UNAM has 292,000 students and 34,000 teachers. Nevertheless, the campus has been place of political dissent, especially during the 1968 Olympic Games. More recently, in 1999-2000 the UNAM was closed for nine months. The reason was that some students protested a rise in tuition, but strikers developed wider demands to reorganize the university. Bad memories in Mexico’s psyche returned when the police took the campus, and brought back remembrances of Tlatelolco massacre in 1968.

In spite of the huge dimensions of CU, there are no dorms in the campus. Instead, students coming from abroad or from other parts of the country rent shared appartments or small rooms close to the university. The latter might imply living with a family or a woman of conservative background, who will not allow you to invite over nor friends neither your partner/girlfriend, etc. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why PDA’s can be found in every garden and bench of the campus.

Food stalls can be found all over the campus, with almost the same kind of food, like tortas, tacos, hot dogs and snacks. Every faculty has a canteen, but we highly recommend Papalotl, a few block from Faculty of Economics.

Ciudad Universitaria. The first are mentioned here can be reached from Copilco subway station. The second, by Ciudad Universitaria Station. Althought there is a free transport inside the campus, it is kind of complicated to use it, specially if you are not famliar to the area. A map of the campus can be seen here</em>

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