08142018Tue
Last updateFri, 10 Aug 2018 3pm

Doggies to slake their thirst in city park revamp spearheaded by expat activist

It won’t be long until French bulldogs Bella and Tiger can drink purified water from their own bebedores (drinking fountains) in the spectacularly refurbished Parque las Carmelitas in Guadalajara’s Colonia Jardines del Sol.

Perhaps the most unique new feature among the park’s soft yoga court, giant sidewalk chessboard, comfortable benches, jazzy lighting and built in irrigation are drinking fountains supplied with filtered water, to which will soon be added pet drinking fountains.

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The upgrade began 2 1/2 years ago when activist resident Jude Wallesen (shown holding dogs) put dozens of flyers on neighbors’ doors asking for help in reclaiming the park, which at the time looked like “a battlefield in Chechnya,” she joked. Using her own funds and those from a yoga class she teaches, she hired gardeners to clean the park. Then a comité vecinal (neighbors’ committee) was formed. Through existing City Hall mechanisms, the committee stipulated that some of its property taxes be spent on an upgrade, in colaboration with an architect and usig approved plans. Work began in July. The made-over park was inaugurated last week with a crush of dignitaries, including interim Guadalajara Mayor Enrique Ibarra, along with the neighbors’ committee president and the head of Obras Públicas (Public Works).

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