Postcard from Guanajuato, Mexico: Where the Spanish found pots of silver at the end of the rainbow

Wrote so many things about Guanajuato two years ago that few words are necessary. Here is a batch of photos mined there during our meanderings there this past fall.

My favorite photo here is the rooftop overflow “parking lot” for El Nino Medico. The toy cars left with prayers for El Nino in his glass quarters in Templo de la Compania de Jesus always mount up, sometimes to the point of almost burying him. There were so many stuffed inside this trip that the faithful began parking them on top of his quarters. I am including a photo after the illegally parked cars have been towed away once again by church guardians.

 

Postcard from Guanajuato, Mexico: Statuesque silhouettes against the sky

It’s hard to resist focusing on Guanajuato’s landmark people perched up high. Muses grace the roofline of Teatro Juarez. Father Hidalgo, famed for his grito igniting the revolt against Spain, stands near the city’s presa, or dam.

The giant statue of El Pipila lords over the city. As pipila means a female turkey, the nickname given to Juan Jose de los Reyes Martínez Amaro (1782–1863) probably was not meant as flattery. But El Pipila earned respect as a hero of the Mexican Revolution when he strapped a large stone on his back for protection against weapons above to storm the Spaniards holed up in Alhondiga de Granaditas. He slathered the granary’s large wooden door with tar and set it ablaze, allowing the citizens of Guanajuato to overtake the forces inside.

The woman representing peace who presides over Plaza de la Paz, the city’s main plaza, was commissioned by President Porfirio Diaz in 1903. Her peaceful reign soon was interrupted. President Diaz did not care for his opponent in the 1910 election so he locked him up in jail. When Diaz declared himself victorious, the citizenry sensed the election results were rigged. Diaz was forced from power, and years of civil war marked by frequent violent changes in presidents followed.

Wish the threat of locking opponents up and talking about rigged elections did not sound familiar.