Tell anyone you’re heading over to the fort, and odds are they won’t know what you’re talking about. El Fuerte 31 de Marzo, built in 1894 to commemorate the battle against the French 30 years after it happened, lies neglected and largely inaccessible beside Casa del Marino, another building in huge need of saving. But this article is about the fort.
On Thursday night this week several groups of concerned citizens united forces, including Toto Tirado, Mario Martini, Gustavo Gama, and Fernando Higuera, Friends of Old Mazatlán, Friends of the Fort, among many others, in an effort to restore the property and use it for public education and entertainment. They have had architectural plans drawn up by Arturo Garduño that involve not just the fort but the entire Paseo Claussen area.
Plans for the fort itself include two salons of history on the Revolution and the Reforma, restoring and protecting the remaining walls, base and ceiling, so that the space is accessible to the public and usable for events. There are plans for an esplanade at the entrance, complete with a monument to Mazatlecos who died protecting our city. Click below to view the project’s video proposal.
With its setting right on the water, overlooking the three islands in our bay, restoration of the fort would be a huge asset to Mazatlán, and a perfect way to interest people in learning about our history!
The event Thursday night was attended by 200-250 people, I estimate, and included three wonderful musical acts, the debut of the video outlining the proposal, and some terrific fireworks. They are selling a booklet with DVD for 120 pesos each to raise funds, and of course will welcome donations as well.
Personally, I think getting the vendors off the malecón and down onto the Glorieta Sanchez Taboada, as shown in the video proposal, can happen next week! Let’s do it rather than wait any longer!