In an unassuming square, three blocks from better known Plaza Miguel Hidalgo, a soaring three-pronged metal sculpture marks a spot in the tiny village of Tequisquiapan, Mexico as the geographic center of the country. It is duly marked as such, with an official looking plaque authorized by one of Mexico’s earlier Presidents, so I had no reason to doubt the claim. But the more I traveled around Mexico, the more I heard Tequisquiapan’s claim disputed.
In Guanajuato, the 70-foot tall Cristo Rey statue of Jesus sits atop Cerro del Cubilete, a steep-sided hill located about 10 miles north of the city; it too is said to mark the geographical center of Mexico. Lesser contenders for the honor include Zacatecas and Aguascalientes, although the latter seems to have fallen out of the running, since the plaque that previously marked the spot that was thought to be the center disappeared and has never been replaced.
More confusing still is the question of how the geographic center should be computed. By distance from international borders? By distance from the oceans that border both sides Mexico? By mass? All giving rise to much confusion and bantering of opinions. Even the National Institute of Statistics and Geography in Mexico couldn’t come up with a definitive answer. They opined that a point in Zacatecas is likely the center of the country’s mass, but hedged their bets by stating that the exact location would depend on whether only the mainland was included in the calculation or offshore islands were taken into consideration.
All in all, I don’t really care which is the true geographic center of Mexico, as the debate lends interest to the attractions that claim to mark the spot and in my book, three attractions are better than one any day.