Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Magic Villages of Mexico...



In 2001 Mexico's Secretariat of Tourism launched its "Programa Pueblos Magicos" to promote a series of towns and villages which could offer visitors a "magical experience". By 2007 thirty seven villages had been designated as places special for their outstanding natural beauty, cultural traditions, colonial architecture, historical significance or rich heritage. Real de Monte is a magic village rich in English tradition and heritage as a British company owned the tin and silver mines here, and shipped out miners from Cornwall - who brought with them not only their labour, but also the game of football to Mexican soil and the great Cornish pasty as a gastronomic treat!!
Today the architecture is still dominated by single storey Cornish cottages with red roofs and corrugated iron....


















The English heritage in the architecture is very distinctive and unmissable..
















Wandering the narrow lanes and cobbled streets the mining past is clear on every corner......


















As are the Cornish pasty shops which translates into Spanish as "pastes"....
















The village is also very strongly a traditional Mexican town with colonial churches and houses, a central plaza and bandstand, a mercado and many tasty Mexican restaurants, so it is an interesting mixture of English, Spanish and Mexican cultural influences, but one last resting place is specifically English. Make sure you track down the English cemetery up on the hill in a beautifully peaceful pine forest with all the graves of the Cornish miners and their families....
















I have so far visited 14 of the 37 magic villages here in Mexico and can't wait to track down the rest if they are all as charming and fascinating as Real de Monte...plus it is only an hour away from Mexico City close to the town of Pachuca.


2 comments:

...louciao... said...

That is absolutely fascinating! Who-da thunk??! I had no idea this strongly British flavour could be found in a Mexican village. I do remember you mentioning the graveyard, or one similar, but I am really surprised by the architectural and epicurean (trying to use large words correctly here) influence. This is the kind of Mexico I would love to experience, rather than the resorts and "rivieras."

Catherine said...

Louciao...quite agree - a lot of my travelling is off the beaten track these days here in mexico - and it is so rewarding - 2 things you may wish to look up a novel "The Zigzag Way"by Anita desai is all aboit the Cornish tin miners in Real de Monte and Xilitla - an artist's paradise!!