Los Lopez, but not Jennifer
Los Lopez is a dusty ranch area just beyond San Miguel Viejo on the road to Cieneguita. Despite being interlaced with dirt roads it has a surprising amount of history and modern activity.
The area features both a kindergarten and middle school in addition to two churches and a handful of tiendas (small stores). One church, St. Isidore (patron of farmers and a favorite of the local Otomi farmers), has the distinction of having recently been added on to showing the growth rate in Los Lopez.
The largest facility is the Valiant Heart orphanage that opened a few months ago. In terms of a Mexican orphanage it is simply magnificent featuring a gym, library, infirmary and dormitory facilities allowing each resident her own space to express themselves.
Granted, I grew up in Hershey, where Mr. Hershey used his Kiss money to support local parentless boys with a high school that rivals the facilities of any Ivy League college. Still, having visited orphanages across Mexico, there is nothing on par with this facility where the staff outnumber the children. If the nuns in Mexiquito or Santa Julia (the orphanages in San Miguel) were the jealous sort, there is plenty here to feed that fire. Knowing several, they’ve big enough hearts to be grateful to have others take up their work.
Sidebar: When I recently asked at a nun at the boys’ orphanage if she could have anything she wanted to make her life easier what would it be, she immediately responded “Milk money”. It appears the lads consume a prodigious amount of milk every day.
In Los Lopez, gambol down towards the Laja River to view the remains of an old bridge the Spanish use to cross with their wagon loads of silver. Long known as a robbery hot spot today metal detectors enthusiasts use the area to search for lost treasures from long dead highway robbers.
Today the area is also know for the corn fields feeding all types of livestock from horses, cows, bulls and oddly aggressive sheep to the variety of egrets and herons. Normally a good swimming area folks avoid it at night for the “Crying Woman” of folklore fame is known to come out of the depths looking for children to replace those she once drowned in a fit of losing her children’s father to another woman.
Speaking of children, I spotted a future fashionista toddling through the fields with her fancy hat and purse as a lady is always well accessorized.
Los Lopez is another fascinating area filled with opportunities for those willing to venture a bit farther afield from centro!