Bothering Jesus

When I moved to the Deep South not only did I enjoy the Low County breezes complete with peach-sized mosquitoes, but I was amazed how everyone had a personal relationship with Jesus. For the indigenous of San Miguel, as well as anyone who went to …

Our Pyramids’ Murky Past

From a distance, the gray, volcanic rock pyramids and their stone walls held together by the sticky juice in nopales look rather good for being 1,500 years old. Located in Cañada de La Virgen (The Valley of the Virgin), an area 30 miles outside the …

Haunting Fountains

San Miguel has had many names from San Miguel de los Chichimecas (for the indigenous that were living here) to the present San Miguel de Allende (for the Revolutionary hometown hero, Ignacio Allende).  Due to their constant presence both in homes and on the streets, …

Under Town

As a foreigner raised on the “meddling kids” of Scooby Do and The Goonies, I understand intrinsically that underground tunnels lead to treasures, adventures and the creepy caretaker impersonating a monster!  Now I’m lucky enough to live in a city literally littered with them and the reality of tunnels …

Signage on the Streets

When I was a child sharing a room with my affable but dim-witted brother, Tom, my mother placed a tiny holy water font on the wall so we would bless ourselves when we entered or left our bedroom.  The sign of the cross upon exiting brings favors …

The Flower of Xmas Eve

Aztecs used the poinsettia (what they called Cuetlaxochitl)  to produce reddish purple dye and as medicine to reduce fevers.  Their origins were from a tribe called Chontales that didn’t want to pay taxes to Montezuma causing Montezuma to wage a bloody battle against them near today’s Taxco.  Following the fight, the road …

Comonfort’s Hidden Messages

Recently I was invited to tour Comonfort’s churches by the state’s Director of Tourism interested in forming a state-wide tourism effort of the indigenous influence on our churches.  Having had my students from nearby Escobedo perform in Comonfort I’ve seen the churches but not through this man’s eyes so …

Fight or Flee?

So I’ve been reading Sr. Wendy books on art lately and came across a cool painting of Joseph and Mary’s trip into Egypt to escape King Herod’s murderous rampage of all the boys under two.  Sr. Wendy describes their faces as “ashamed because, ultimately, Joseph’s behavior was a cowardly …

Christmas Plays

As the holiday season approaches so do the Christmas plays (Pastorelas).  Pastorelas are modern interpretations of Jesus’ birth that started in 1530 and helped convert the Otomis and Chichimecas to the Spanish’s Catholic faith.    The plays originated in today’s Mexico City as an alternative celebration to the Aztec’s celebration …

Aunt Jemima Dancing Here

The Locos have a lot to do in SMA with their merengue tunes and frantic dancing.  Starting in January they help warm the earth for the planting season in February by dancing in front of the Parroquia in honor of the Ecce Homo statue of Jesus (Ecce …