An ice rink has been set up in the Zocalo, Mexico City's largest plaza, in an effort to make it easier for the capital's residents to get a taste of winter sports.

The sustainable rink, covering 3,800 sq. meters (40,849 sq. feet), is made of artificial ice and welcomes people visiting the downtown plaza, which is surrounded by historic buildings, such as the Metropolitan Cathedral and the National Palace, the seat of Mexico's government.

This is not the first time that Mexico City residents have been able to enjoy ice skating on the Zocalo during Christmas season, but this is the largest rink ever set up on the plaza, officials said.

The ice rink complies with "all regulations, both technical and environmental," and is relying on wind power for the generation of 40 percent of the electricity consumed, Federal District official Carlos Meneses said.

The aluminum and other materials used to build the rink are all recyclable and reusable, Meneses said.

"We have very specific controls in place so that those who come have the gear needed to skate," Meneses told Efe.

The ice rink has the capacity to handle up to 1,500 people at the same time, with skaters entering at three different points.

Admission to the ice rink, which will operate until Jan. 12, is free. EFE