The last time I went to the Centro Cultural Tijuana, called “la bola” for its ball-like shape, I saw a photo exhibit by Los Angeles Times photographer Don Bartletti about immigration and the border. The cultural center (known more formally as CECUT) often highlights regional themes like this through the works of Mexican and local artists, making it a good starting point for exploring Tijuana.
The rotund part of the CECUT is actually its IMAX theater. The main building has a permanent natural-history type exhibit that details the history of the Baja California peninsula. The rotating exhibits, according to their website, currently includes Photosintesis, a series of photos by Baja California photographers, and an exposition by Baja California artist Jaime Ruiz Otis.
This Saturday night, Sept. 13, the CECUT is featuring a presentation by the Mexican folklore group Compania de Danza Ticuan with mariachis, jarocho groups, and all the colorful costume trappings. Shows are scheduled for 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. and tickets cost about $20 per person.
The CECUT is also the starting point for a city bus tour that takes you to various Tijuana landmarks (I’m not sure if this is offered during the week, too). You can zoom through the tour in one hour, or you can get on and off the 13 stops and catch the next hourly bus. For more information go here.
The cultural center is located on Paseo de los Heroes, and it’s just a few minutes from the Mexican port of entry at San Ysidro. You can take a cab from the border, or you can drive.
Photo from Flickr contributor El Randy under creative commons license.
*My strategy of how to get to the CECUT by car: Cross into Mexico at San Ysidro. Drive past the Customs area and avoid the first exit to the right. Continue with the flow of traffic and stay on the right-hand lane as you start crossing the bridge. Avoid any merges or turns that veer you left or right off of this road. You will see a CostCo straight ahead. Drive as if you are trying to go to the CostCo and you will find yourself on the major thoroughfare of Paseo de los Heroes, which curves to the east. Keep driving along Paseo de los Heroes until you reach the traffic circle. You will see the CECUT on your left and should be able to figure out how to get there OK.