Inside the Icon: Tijuana III Milenio

Tucked in a canyon just below Tijuana’s airport stands the 50-foot nude Amazonian officially titled Tijuana III Milenio (Tijuana Third Millennium), but locals know her as La Mona, or "The Doll."

Made of 18 tons of concrete and rebar, the hollow statue was built by self-taught sculptor and architect Armando Muñoz Garcia to commemorate the city’s first centennial in 1989; she celebrates her 27th birthday this month.

More than just a supersize curvy bod, her pose packs a lesson in Tijuana history. Her right pinky finger stretches toward the sky, representing the city’s extreme northwest location in Mexico. Originally white with a blue ribbon wrapped around her forearm to symbolize the scarcity of water, she received a head-to-toe makeover in 2015 by 11 graffiti artists from all over the world.

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