It Started Under a Bridge

The ones, who know the story of Monterrey, say that the commercial and trading culture of the northern Mexicans started on the 1800’s in roads made in the middle of the sand and rock son the riverbed of the Santa Catarina River.

Try to imagine it and reverse your clocks about 130 years back.

The zone called “Indepe” in the neighbourhood of “San Luisito” connects to the center of the city through a service that, for a few cents, the neighbors give to the transients.

The service consists in putting wooden planks so the people walk without the risk of getting wet, because the hanging bridge that crosses the river besides of being dangerous, they rather go under it to take advantage of the shaded area and the harvest that the immigrants from the center of Mexico, especially from San Luis Potosi, do there.

Years later, the hanging bridge was changed for a wooden one, and they say that is what moved the traders to install on and under the bridge.

But let’s forward our clocks a bit. It is 1903. Visualize now the governor and General Bernardo Reyes, who, inspired by the traders he saw under the fragile bridge, started the convocation to design the first “Bridge-market” of the country.

No doubt a crazy idea –today we’d say it was innovating—but the important thing is that that bridge started to shape the regios’ culture.

So then, and thanks to civil engineering, that idea of Bernardo Reyes finished in the inauguration of a new bridge, now supported by concrete and steel pillars, with a roof and with commercial stands inside.

The “San Luisito Bridge”, is what they called it, and it immediately was occupied by traders and became the most picturesque, traditional and concurred market of the workers, the medium class, and even as they called them “the money people”.

It is also remembered that for 1909, a terrible hurricane struck the city of Monterrey, and historians say that even though the “monstrous current covered up to the roof of the bridge, it did not destroy the San Luisito”.

Then, the bridge was severely damaged and the raised current of the Santa Catarina, was what made the regios’ trading spirit to continue, but now at the edge of the river.

In this way, the trading continued for decades and with the passing of time, it was consolidated on the south side as the “Moctezuma Market” and on the north side the “Colon (Columbus) Market”.

The bridge on the other hand, was rebuilt and finally a new version of it, sponsored by the government, was inaugurated on 1976. It was built from cement, steel and three big arches that still hold it today.

And it is true; the new version killed a commercial icon: the “San Luisito” or “Pope’s Bridge” but it still accompanies the commercial and entrepreneur culture of Monterrey.
Florentino Elizondo; Esq., CPA.
President & CEO
DEC / Member of ICBA

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