Postcard from Campeche, Mexico: Forging artistic works of iron

Hard to photograph against dark doors, wrought iron has not gone out of fashion in Campeche. The ornate designs vary as much as that of the cornices in the historic center. The material’s resistance to corrosion by salt air makes it a favorite for more than protective bars in a climate where maximizing air circulation through every portal is wise, but it also historically is preferred for indoor furniture and chandeliers.

While bars offer protection, their commonplace usage should not indicate Campeche is unsafe. Without referencing any actual  statistics, our observations seemed to confirm how every resident there describes their hometown: Es muy tranquilo.

How safe is Campeche? In a large bustling seaside restaurant, someone felt comfortable enough to leave their cellphone charging on the bathroom sink. On a busy Saturday, someone casually left their keys in the ignition of his motorbike while he went into Walmart. With living rooms opening up directly to the sidewalk, families on our street did not hesitate to leave the doors wide open while gathered around the television set at night. Parents picking up children from the private preschool nearby would leave their cars running while they went inside to fetch their kids. Baby asleep in the car? Don’t disturb her. Just leave all the car windows down so there’s plenty of air.

Es muy tranquilo.

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