September 20, 2015
By: José Luis Santillán Bravo
Chetumal’s lighthouse constitutes one of the architectural pieces of more historic value in the city and it is without a doubt one of the most beloved and admired structures, specially by those who’ve been living here the longest, since they witnessed its creation during the early years of Chetumal’s life in 1949, only a few years after the name “Payo obispo” was replaced.
Nowadays, however, and despite its great symbolic value, the lighthouse (known today as “Federico R. Alcerreca” Lighthouse museum) seems to have turned into a victim of the lack of diffusion on information. Therefore, the Tu Chetumal team took on the responsibility of visiting said museum and, by doing so, recommend to our readers not to miss the opportunity to visit this little piece of historic heritage that we have so close to ourselves, in a place we all walk by at least once a week.
But, ¿What’s the deal with this nautical museum, or lighthouse museum?
For those who are not familiarized with local history, it may be a little surprising to find out that the territory that we currently know as Chetumal was once a place of a lot of coastal activity. Nevertheless, considering our geographic position and the evolution of the communication and transportation methods, it comes out a little bit evident that ours was a ground that saw a lot of navigation. Hence the importance this structure once had as a navigational tool.
In the “Federico R. Alcérreca” lighthouse museum we can go into the history of the city from the nautical point of view more in depth; things such as what were the first lighthouses of the region like, old navigation techniques, structure and internal composition of the tower and, of course, know a little bit more about the person whom the museum is named after, Mr. Federico R. Alcérreca, the man behind the construction of said structure.
The experience of this place comes out pretty entertaining, since like most modern museums, it relies on several interactive tools and resources at the moment of taking us through the nautical history of our city, and though the tour may not be a very long one, it guarantees to make you go <<Ooooooh>> once in i while.
Besides going through local history, the lighthouse museum also counts with two rooms dedicated to the different structures outside Chetumal, being one of these rooms interactive (with tablets that show us description and details of important lighthouses in a map of the state of Quintana Roo) and the other one directed specifically to the photographic exhibit of several different lighthouses all over the world.
To end the tour, and for the little ones (and not so little ones) to have fun, the final room in the museum contains some sort of <<video game>>, a nautical simulator that will allow you to feel what it’s like to direct a motorboat while completing a few missions (reaching certain points in a map in a limited time, etc).
The tour lasts roughly 20 to 30 minutes depending, of course, of how deep you like to go into the history and everything else the museum has to show. This experience is completely free of charge, all you have to do is sign in in a visitor’s log and, if you’d like, you can take the tour with a guide or by your own. Of course, when leaving the place, don’t forget to leave a comment in the visitor’s log and in this way, contribute to keeping the quality of the facilities and services in optimal conditions.
This is what we leave you with this week folks, one of those little pieces of history that give us identity as Chetumal’s people and which we can’t allow to fade into oblivion. So, we sincerely hope you can take some time during the week to visit the lighthouse museum “Federico R. Alcerreca” and, obviously, that you enjoy the tour. We’ll read you next week here in #TuChetumal?.