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Living History

When my kids were young they spent the summer at Colonial Camp living like colonists which sounded like hell to me both then and now, but they loved it.  In the fall were the Civil War reenactments and, naturally, October brought the cemetery tours where actors portrayed …

Fiestas for French Royalty

St. Louis (San Luis Rey) is a unique saint being only French royalty to make the cut to sainthood.  Poor cake-eating Marie Antionette didn’t even come close.  I’ve pondered for some time why St. Louis has multiple cities, churches and babies of both genders named for him …

Mexican Nativity Secrets

As an avid reader of the International Creche Herald (don’t scoff, it exists) I’ve long been fascinated by nativity sets and the variety of ways they tell the story of Jesus’ birth.  Suffice to say I was thrilled to move to Mexico and discover a whole new …

Choosing the Right Tour for You

You’ve only got a few days, or hours, in a town and want to maximize your experience.  Choosing a tour can be an excellent choice but like with all choices in life it best to know yourself first and decide accordingly. In an effort of …

Good Good Friday

I lucked out and was asked again to participate in the Good Friday procession this year plus I got a promotion!   No more being sandwiched between sweaty lads carrying Jesus, who is living proof that with his sinewy physique muscle weighs more than fat.  And don’t …

Knock, Knock

When my children were young I’d like to spook them with tales about the hand door knockers all over town insisting, like Thing from the Addams Family, the hands came to life at night and finger-walked all over town.  That started their instant fascination at pointing (pun intended) …

Your Color-coded Guide to Paper Flags

Crisscrossing the streets of town are the brightly colored paper flags that identify a variety of fiestas.  The flags are a tradition with deep roots and with a bit of color knowledge you’ll know exactly what is being celebrated. If you’ve seen the movie Coco the flags are …

Chocolate’s Gay and Toothless Movie Star

When circling town from the libramiento (beltway) and passing by the Santa Julia neighborhood there is a large mural featuring many Mexican artists.  One appears to be angry grandmother with some pain-inducing denture issues.  She is Sara Garcia, an actress whose work spread from the …

La Alborada: Celebrating our Namesake

By Joaquin Sierra Rangel The Saturday before the feast of St. Michael the Archangel La Alborada has been carried out for nearly 100 years, since 1924.  The long history involves our factory, railroad and nuns alongside stars, music and gunpowder. The factory opened in 1902 …

Xuchiles Bring Home the Dead

Xuchiles are funeral offerings in the form of flowers and cacti about two meters wide and the height of a story and half building.  They are intricate to the Chichimeca (indigenous hunter gatherers) celebrations of the town’s namesake, St. Michael the Archangel’s, feast day here. The …