Wednesday, April 10, 2019

San Miguel deAllende.......2002

It was a wintry day in February of 2002 when a friend and I left North Carolina and flew to Mexico. Casa Murphy” was our destination and we found it tucked behind tall adobe walls lushly over-run with greenery. It is a small, family oriented B&B and we found that we’d made a good choice.

Everything in San Miguel is within walking distance and it’s almost impossible to get lost, since every road eventually leads to the “El Jardin”, the central plaza. This area is surrounded with lovely shops & eatery’s located in buildings that date back to the 1600’s.
San Miguel De Allende was in danger of becoming a ghost town at the turn of the 20th century. The revival began after World War II when the returning GI’s discovered that their education grants stretched further in Mexico at the US-accredited Art Schools. San Miguel soon became a center for American and Canadian expatriates and continues to be a haven for them today.

Actually, although the town is very picturesque and has become renowned as an Art Colony, I found the surrounding towns more to my liking. The fact that San Miguel is practically overrun with non-Mexicans tarnished it a bit for me.

I enjoyed the small town of Delores Hidalgo very much. This is where the famous Talavera ceramic tiles are made. We could actually watch the artisans as they colored the tiles before they were fired. It was Valentine’s day when we were there and we were treated to a special luncheon complete with live music and gifts of paper hearts and roses from the management.
Guanajuato, the birthplace of Diego Rivera, was my favorite spot, however. It was very interesting to visit his home and to see the paintings that he produced as a young boy. They were nothing like the dense and colorful murals that brought him such fame. One room was devoted to the paintings of his tempestuous wife, Frida Kahlo and they actually had a recording of her voice. I could see why she would be a good match for Diego.
All in all it was an exciting trip but the disparity between the “haves” (the expatriates) and the “have-nots” ( the native Mexicans) bothered me a lot. It just seemed to be one more example of exploitation based on greed.


Blogger Joared said...

Interesting memory. I recall having the same reaction when I had occasion to visit Ecuador in the fifties— being struck by the difference between similar groups of haves and have nots. Then, walking from rundown appearing areas and poverty into Catholic Churches with interiors caked in gold.

5:35 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

You are a good person that the disparity bothered you.

7:04 PM  
Blogger Marie Smith said...

Such an interesting trip!

5:25 AM  
Blogger Goldendaze-Ginnie said...

(From my friend Possum. Visit her at

That must have been an interesting trip, especially to see the work of Diego and Frida!

I have avoided Mexico. I hate Mexican food – so that seemed a good reason to stay away.

We had a number of ex-pat communities in Turkey. I always enjoyed meeting them- they were, for the most part, way more intellectual than the Embassy and military crowd of Americans we ran into at the PX, USO, or school. And many of them were artists, too!om

8:14 AM  
Blogger NCmountainwoman said...

I really loved the Barbara Kingsolver fictional account of Diego and Frido in THE LACUNA some years ago. It is always exciting to be standing where such famous people once stood.

12:33 PM  
Blogger troutbirder said...

Most interesting. Especially the contrasts of wealth and poverty which now are out of control here in America. Nice to find your blog again... a favorite of mine. My computer eblog has been out of commission for several months so am very happy to be back on line...:)

2:43 PM  
Blogger Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Such disparities between those less wealthier and those who have much more sadly exist in many places. While you obviously enjoyed your trip, Ginnie, the disparity would have been hard to ignore.

1:46 PM  

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