The Proserpina reservoir is once again filled with bathers and people who go to have lunch or dinner at the beach bars that are located on the front line of this natural environment located just six kilometers from the city center of Merida.
There are many people, especially families and groups of friends, who come to La Charca to cool off in its waters due to the numerous heat waves. There are also other citizens who prefer to reduce their plan to go only to the establishments for lunch and dinner because of the exceptional view they offer and the freshness of the dam’s surroundings.
The people of Mérida have been in the habit of coming for many years to enjoy this Roman reservoir whose waters, analyzed by the General Directorate of Public Health of the SES, are declared suitable for bathing. One of them is Fermín Guisado. Despite having a swimming pool in the urbanization where he lives in the city, he prefers to enjoy spending the day with Proserpina taking a bath to cool off. “I have always liked coming to La Charca, I have been coming since I was little,” he maintains. According to Guisado, weekdays are quieter, but on weekends “you have to come early if you want to get a seat.”
Many bathers have seen how the water in the reservoir is much cleaner than in other years Ascensión Camons El chiringuito de Choni«There are people who only come to La Charca to eat and others just to swim. There is for everything»
Another bather who comes to the reservoir every year to bathe is Chelo Zambrano. This year he is going more to the Proserpina lake, mainly due to the high temperatures that are hitting Mérida this summer.
“The water is cleaner, so I enjoy bathing more, but above all I like it more on weekdays, since it is calmer since there are not as many people as on weekends,” agrees Zambrano.
“Compared to five or six years ago, the water is much better, it looks cleaner and invites you to take a bath,” Nacho Guisado told this newspaper. Although yes, due to the drought, due to the lack of rain, he is seeing that the water level has dropped.
The three beach bars that are located on the shore of the reservoir see how some of the bathers come to their establishments to eat or cool off, or even see people from Merida who come to their establishments just to have lunch or dinner. That way they get a good number of customers.
Ascensión Camons, better known as Choni, celebrates this 2022 20 years since she runs ‘El chiringuito de Choni’, a place that is open throughout the year, although in winter it only opens on weekends.
According to Camons, his establishment already welcomes the same number of customers as before the pandemic, so they are back to the same level as those years.
“Above all, more people come during the weekend for dinner, on a full night we can perfectly serve 180 people,” she says with satisfaction.
He says they didn’t start the summer season as well as they wanted. «Many people did not come in June because of the sudden changes in temperature that there were. It went from being very cold to having very high temperatures, which is why many did not want to come », he affirms.
This year, Choni sees that in his establishment “many of the customers who come to the establishment only come for lunch or dinner at night and leave, they have not bathed in the reservoir before and they do not stay.”
The Lago Pinar restaurant has been open for two years. In the midst of the pandemic and after leaving the confinement, specifically in July 2020, its opening took place.
According to its owner, Javier Ardila, more customers have passed through his premises this year compared to last year. However, he clarifies that where there is less citizen presence is in the morning and early afternoon.
“This summer is very hot and people prefer to stay at home with the air conditioning,” laments Ardila, who during lunch does not pass by his place as many people as he would like to see.
And it is that the heat is one of the key factors for many people to stay at home and not go to eat at the beach bars during midday.
In Proserpina there are not only swimmers and hotel establishments, but also people who do water activities, such as canoeing, and a summer camp called Nautical Sports.
The City Council gave them the Water Museum so that they could welcome the children and for a month and a half they have been carrying out some water activities in Proserpina, such as paddle surfing or snorkeling.
“We decided to choose this reservoir to make our camp because it has calm waters and gives us many possibilities to do water sports,” says Álvaro Crespo, the monitor of this camp.
“The water is cleaner, other years we had to remove leeches from children that were stuck to their feet,” he concludes. In Proserpina, a leisure company also offers an alternative, that of sailing or moving around the dam with pedal boats.
In this way, the Proserpina reservoir, to bathe, with recreational activities or as a meeting place to have a drink or eat, recovers its place as an essential place in the Merida summer.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.