Mérida is the capital and largest city of the state of Yucatán. The city has a population of over 700,000.

Mérida was founded in 1542 by Spanish explorer Francisco de Montejo. The city is built atop the ancient Maya city of T’ho, which was once a center of Mayan culture and activity.

In the early 1900s, henequén, was mass produced and exported from this region. Profits from the henequén crop creating a large upper class society who built grand estates in town. Today, many of these estates and lavish homes have been restored, giving visitors a glimpse of Mérida’s colonial past.

Text by Annie Leroux
Image by Hacienda Sotuta de Péon by Lindsay Clark