Yumbo Centre is wordlwide known as THE Gay Shopping Centre of Europe and not for nothing ! With hundreds of shops including gay bars, cafes, restaurants, as well as a wide variety of fashion, electronics and jewelry stores, all is done and thought for the enjoyment of thousands of tourists, mostly gay, from countries around the world who choose Playa del Inglés and Maspalomas as their holiday destination.
But, do you know how was it at the beginning ?
Yumbo, back in 1982, the inauguration
The centre of 20,000 square meters, was built by the tourism entrepreneur Estanislao Mañaricúa Belacortu and Alejandro del Castillo. It was inaugurated in 1982. The most important politicians were there and, the catholique tradition been very strong at that time in the island, even the church was invited to blest the place ! No one would have thought that it would become the most popular gay spot in Spain and in the whole Europe !!!
Before Yumbo, the gay community was concentrated at the Cita Centre, and long before that, at the Nilo Shopping Centre (yes, the Nilo...). But with the Yumbo inauguration everything changed. Some gay bars move in, new ones open their doors and, little by little, it became the GAY spot of Maspalomas, Gran Canaria, and the BIGGEST gay shopping centre in all Europe !
Check these amazing pictures of the opening in 1982, when everything started ! Do you reconize it ?
Yumbo then and now
A lot have changed at Yumbo since its inauguration. At the beginning, it was pretty empty and there was a car parking lot at the basement, not longer available. At the 4th floor, spaces were built to held City Council and some gay asociations offices. Those places are now closed.
In terms of "improvements", if you can call them that, Yumbo has now two new elevators and, wherever your eyes look, you'll see luminous advertising everywhere...