Thursday, April 19, 2007

Guitar Concerts in Patzcuaro

Tucked away in the central highlands of Mexico, the pueblo of Patzcuaro affords us surprising nuggets of cultural pleasure. In April 2007, the XVII International Guitar Festival of Morelia extended into Patzcuaro for three nights of free concerts at the ex-Colegio Jesuita. Cuban, Argentine and Italian guitarists wrapped us in music. The Italian Eon Guitar Quartet, three men and a woman, played with panache. The four guitarists turned out crisply attired in tux with white tie, a delightful tribute to this colonial town based in Purhepecha culture. The Eon spokesman introduced each piece in what he said would be slow Italian so that the Spanish-speaking audience might understand. Fortunately he made this accommodation, because his slow Italian raced along as fast as the musicians' fingers over their guitar strings. International guitarristas and repertoire in Patzcuaro. What a treat for three crisp Spring evenings!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

They build colonial houses in Patzcuaro

It is Sunday. The morning sun quickly warms the day. Church bells toll sonorously across this mountain pueblo at intervals, as they do every day, but today on Callejon del Sol no construction sounds punctuate their peals. The albañiles (construction workers) rest or play on Sunday after a six-day work week. On week-days they come at 7:30 am, have an early comida around 1:00 pm, and leave at 5:30 pm. They take other breaks during the day. All of them, from the most skilled to the peón who is the lowest in their hierarchy and hefts heavy loads of the traditional cement, brick and bright ceramic tiles, come dressed in neat clothes and change on site to work. They change back into street clothes—their public face—whenever they leave the work site.
Saturday concludes the work week. The albañiles are paid in cash every Saturday promptly at 2:00 pm and they leave for the day. Men vie to work at Callejon del Sol; jobs are not easy to find in Patzcuaro. Furthermore, the albañiles know that they can rely on receiving their pay in full every Saturday, which is not always the local norm. Maestro Vicente is exacting and himself works hands-on with the men to build these colonial houses. The Maestro can immediately replace anyone who slacks off from a ready and eager pool of workers with experience.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Living, playing and building houses in Patzcuaro

I have, as does my husband, Glen, many years of experience in real estate and in international business, particularly in Mexico and South America. We fell in love with Patzcuaro, Michoacan, Mexico, and bought an abandoned house which we renovated. We moved into La Jacaranda, to enjoy this colonial pueblo with its Purhepecha indigenous presence. We then built, using traditional materials, a few colonial style homes to sell. Each is designed specifically for its location and is unique. Watch this site for some tales of living, playing and building in Patzcuaro.
P.S. We have extensively traveled in Mexico for decades and settled in Patzcuaro in early 2004.