"Sisal and Haciendas" Top 5 Page for this destination Mérida Favorite Tip by Redlats
Mérida General: 20 reviews and 39 photos
Favorite thing: When we drove from Uxmal to Celestun, we passed six or more haciendas. These deserted haciendas are linked to the henequen or sisal plant. Until the discovery of the plastic industry (during World War I approximately), the threads from the sisal plant were used to make rope -- especially rope for ships as it weathered well.
This plant grew well in the Yucatan, and the haciendados (hacienda owners) became very rich exporting sisal. Mérida was the preferred home for many of these millionaires, and they built their fancy homes on Paseo Montejo.
As I indicated earlier, you can walk or drive down Paseo Montejo to see some of these mansions - some of which are restored. Once nylons and the like became the standard for rope-making, sisal became worth much less, and there are not other crops than could be built in the desert with no irrigation, so most of the mansions were deserted.
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