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Video: Mexico’s method for speedy snowman building

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The giant ice rink in Mexico City’s Zocalo is back this year –- all 9,843 square feet of it. Inaugurated at the end of November, the rink is part of Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard’s “Invierno en la Capital” (Winter in the Capital) initiative.

Clearly, Ebrard was not put off by criticism he received last year about the project, which he says provides winter entertainment for low-income families. Detractors said that the ice rink -– which is free of charge -- was a waste of public funds in a country where so many people live below the poverty line.

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The Christmas-themed Zocalo project is more ambitious this year than it was in December 2007, with the addition of artificial snow for tobogganing and building snowmen. A 164-foot-high Christmas tree dominates part of the square, and a spokesman for the city government said officials expect 6 million people to make use of the facilities this year, compared to 4 million last year.

Three-year-old Ismael Arenas Sosa and his father, Edmundo, a 31-year-old chef, enjoyed the artificially produced snow in the Zocalo last week. And it appears Ebrard and his team have devised a rather ingenious way of limiting the wait time for children eager to build their first snowman. Watch the video for more.

Readers can watch our video on the ice rink from December 2007 here.

-- Deborah Bonello in Mexico City


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