Several years ago, Colleen Sorenson fell under the spell of a colorful, compact neighborhood of homes, Colonia Guadalupe, increasingly attracting artists priced out of the center of San Miguel de Allende.
She loves it but began to be alarmed by some of what she saw surfacing on buildings all around her. Tagged walls and graffiti attacks on property without permission damage the fabric of a neighborhood.
But Colleen had seen this before in San Antonio, and she knew there were remedies. She was determined to corral the talent behind some of those marred walls, redirecting taggers toward more positive forms of artistic expression.
The gringa transplant with little command of Spanish has made a huge impact on her adopted home in an extremely short time. And, whether working class or artist, everyone on every corner in Colonia Guadalupe seems to know her name.
Some of the results of her efforts, both grassroots and at city hall, will be seen in a series of forthcoming posts.