The mischievous ex-mayor with a superhero. The mischievous ex-mayor with a superhero.

Kids may be poor but superheroes are fun

Ex-mayor criticized for superheroes park in municipality where 53% live in poverty

A new park featuring larger-than-life monuments of popular superheroes has opened in a marginalized municipality in Veracruz.

Flanked by characters from the Marvel and DC superhero films, the linear park runs along a converted median strip in the neighborhood of Las Sirenas in Ixhuatlancillo, a municipality just north of Orizaba.

More than two-meter-high figures of Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Ironman, Superman and Wonder Woman now peer down on the space, which also features park benches and gardens.

The 360,000-peso (US $18,700) project, aptly named “Superheroes Park,” was paid for out of a federal government fund and officially inaugurated on December 20.

The park is the brainchild of Cinthya Montalvo Pérez, who served as interim mayor of the municipality until the end of 2017 after replacing her father, Salvador Montalvo González, who stepped down to pursue a career in state politics.

She described the idea, which marked the end of her administration, as her “greatest mischief.”

“I feel very happy because I’m a fanatic of these superheroes. This park is for the entertainment of children and adults. The characters are from the Avengers and Justice League, I think we’ve all seen them at some stage,” Montalvo said at the opening ceremony.

However, not everyone shares the same satisfaction with the project.

Some residents have questioned why money was spent on a project of this type, arguing instead that the federal resources should have been designated to more pressing, priority needs.

Over half the municipality’s population — 52.6% — live in poverty, according to 2010 data from National Statistics Institute Inegi, and two-thirds of residents lack access to health services.

The municipal council responded to the criticism on its Facebook page, writing that the biggest cost of the project was the installation of street lights and that “the quality of the figures helps to give a different image to the neighborhood.”

In an interview with the newspaper El Universal, a psychologist from the DIF family services agency in the municipality also argued that the project was justified.

Gustavo Arenas López said that authorities had never before completed a project to meet the entertainment needs of children in Ixhuatlancillo, adding that children from other communities had also visited the park.

“They are children that need these kinds of areas so that they can have fun,” he said.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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