The Sunday Traveler ~ In The Hood in San Miguel de Allende



The Sunday Traveler has given you the tour of most of the tourist areas of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico; now in my closing post on The Sunday Traveler in San Miguel series, I will show you around the neighborhood I lived in for the month I was there volunteering at Casa de Los Angeles. Casa was out in the Colonia Santa Julia (San Miguel is divided up into little colonias/districts or neighborhoods that distinguish one from another in this sprawling town. You can give a cab driver an address, but if you tell him the colonia it goes much better in getting you where you want to go. The daycare center of Casa de Los Angeles and the volunteer house are out where the “real” people live in San Miguel, not a tourist to be seen.

From the rooftop of the volunteer house, San Miguel was laid out at my feet


Some of the photos I’ll show you here were taken from this vantage point with the zoom on my camera, and others are at street level as I wandered around the colonia just to take photos, or out to get food or catch the bus into the center of town (tourist areas).

from casa rooftop

The view from the rooftop gave me a little peek into other rooftops and neighborhood yards. A view of the everyday lives in San Miguel on the streets around me

from the roof

the bus into town

And the roof dog (that’s a “thing” in Mexico)


And then after a few mornings I was on a mission to find my alarm clock that went off punctually every morning around 0500…I finally found him in a neighbor’s yard a few houses over


I was grateful to be out in a colonia and experiencing the real San Miguel. The next photos were taken out in front of the volunteer house and down the street a few blocks

bus approaching

My grocery store of choice right across the street from volunteer house, had anything I might need

tiendita across house

On the days I decided to walk into town instead of take the bus I always met friendly people, and just join in the daily lives of those living in Colonia Santa Julia

walk into town





smahood9And in the evening I always went back to the volunteer house to enjoy sunsets up on the roof

sunset on casa roof

The month long experience in San Miguel de Allende has been a highlight of my life. One just has to go out and travel to experience more of life.

I’ll leave everyone off here in Mexico for now, and will return in a few weeks from another part of the world I’ll be visiting for a couple of weeks. Molokai on the horizon. You’ll be able to follow photos I’ll post from Molokai on Instagram at starting along about Tuesday when I arrive there.

Hasta entonces and Aloha



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Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge ~ Fallen Leaf

Processed with Snapseed.

Processed with Snapseed.

Walks these days find me with head down enjoying all kinds of fall treasures.

Photo taken with an iPhone 6Plus, edited in Snapseed and PicMonkey.

More photos for today’s mobile macro challenge can be found on Sally’s blog, Lens and Pens by Sally.

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The Sunday Traveler ~ The Original San Miguel de Allende, Mexico


In 1542, before the arrival of the Spanish, there was an indigenous settlement at Izcuinapan. When the Spanish came, a small chapel was constructed and a village started by Father Juan de San Miguel.


The new village was dedicated to the Archangel Michael. The arrival and colonization was not received well by the locals. Continuous attacks on the Spanish travelers in the area, and then the village by the Chichimecas and Guamare people caused this original location to be abandoned, and was moved to the present location of San Miguel de Allende in 1555. There had also been ongoing water supply problems at the original site, so this relocation further served the growth and development of the new town.

The chapel, unfortunately, was not open on the day I visited, but just walking the tiny little courtyard sufficed to give a feeling for this place and those who walked here all those years ago.



That open door was a tiny little room used for prayer and offerings, from what I could figure out



The area that was once the old settlement is now one of the poorest areas of San Miguel; dirt roads, homes made of cinder block, few homes have electricity or running water. The roads are rutted and barely passable in some spots in a Jeep that I traveled in. I was told that in rainy season it is sometimes impossible to get in or out of the area in any vehicle. What I observed was sobering and sad; many of the children I cared for at the day care center I volunteered at during my month in San Miguel came from this community.  The day care center, Casa de Los Angeles, is the true salvation for these children, providing their meals during the week, and clothing that has been donated. I took no photos of the homes or area due to not stopping to get out of the Jeep, and the road was so incredibly bumpy there was no way to hold my camera steady.  I will make an appeal to anyone who might find it possible to donate even a few dollars to Casa de Los Angeles  All food, supplies, clothing comes from donations. I can personally vouch for this organization, and am available via e-mail (on my profile page) to answer any questions.

One more Sunday Traveler Snapshots coming up next week before I head to the islands.

Hasta entonces.


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Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge ~ Nature’s Farewell to Summer


A sunflower bows its head in a goodbye to summer here in Northern California. Community gardens are full of more than fruit and vegetables, there is an abundance of flowers and inspiration.

Photo taken with an iPhone 6Plus, Camera+, and edited in Impresso, an iPhone app.

For more on today’s theme from nature, visit Sally’s blog for other entries in the challenge.


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The Sunday Traveler Snapshots ~ Sunday Mornings Outside the Church











San Juan de Dios Church in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Many of the poor and lower income working class of Mexico have simple Sundays going to church, and coming out to buy balloons or bubbles for their kids, and food from the street vendors lined up outside. Simple Sundays, not sitting in a sidewalk cafe, or lazing inside playing video games or watching television, but sharing and living life together.

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Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge ~ Seeing Things


An old stable in the mountains of Colorado, deep in the grasses amidst the boulders. Gone unused in an unknown length of time. There’s a door in the background that can barely be seen in this photo; I was told it hasn’t been opened in years. But, I digress. Is it just my eyes that see in the gate’s first board on the left, a face? And in the second slender board, a half face of a horse?

Photo taken with an iPhone 6Plus, Camera+ and edited in camera’s filters, followed by Picmonkey’s lomographic filter.

Join in the gathering over on Sally D’s blog today for other’s photos, including Sally’s use of photomontage.

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The Sunday Traveler ~ Sanctuary of Atotonilco, Mexico


Atotonilco is a little town seven miles east of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. The church, or sanctuary (El Santuario de Atotonilco) has been designated a World Heritage Site. For a modest looking little church, it holds rich treasures inside.


The architecture is beautiful, but what sets this church apart are the frescoes that cover the ceilings and walls. The sanctuary is likened to the Sistine Chapel.


The artist is Miguel Antonio Martinez de Pocasangre, who worked on the frescoes for some thirty years.




The church was built in the 18th century, commissioned by Father Luis Felipe Neri, who is said to have had a vision of Christ with a crown of thorns, carrying a cross.


A tradition began in 1812 when there is a procession from Atotonilco with this statue of the Lord of the Column each year, on the Thursday prior to Holy Week, that travels the seven miles to San Miguel de Allende. The procession begins at midnight and arrives in San Miguel in the early morning hours. The procession is marked by fireworks that are set off along the route to notify San Miguel that they are coming, and their approximate location; as they get nearer to San Miguel the fireworks get louder. The Sunday Traveler can attest to this system working very well, as she was there during this time, and awoke thinking  that San Miguel was under siege, until remembering about the pilgrimage.

The Sunday Traveler made the visit to Atotonilco during Holy Week, and luckily very few people were at the church that early morning; upon entering the church, chanting in latin could be heard from priests or monks that were somewhere behind the main altar, and could not be seen; this made looking through the church unusually beautiful.






There are other naves within the church, each full of frescoes and sculptures. Time here was limited, and rather than continue taking one photo after another, time was spent in just absorbing this wonderful church. Photographing everything in detail could be a full day’s endeavor.


The Sunday Traveler will continue in the next couple of Sundays with a scaled down version of the Traveler in my Sunday Snapshots. I’m starting to prepare for my next trip towards the end of next month; I’ll be spending two weeks on the island of Moloka’i, Hawaii. And remember, you are always invited to join me on Instagram where I usually post a photo at least a couple of times a day at






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Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge ~ Morning Shadows


Morning reflection, looking up to see the sun streaming through the door creating the shadow of the stool at the kitchen counter. I see it most mornings if I’m up early enough, but I’ve ignored it until now; it called out to be brought to life.

Photo taken with an iPhone 6Plus in Camera+, and edited in Mextures and a tweak in PicMonkey for good measure.

Today is Challenger’s Choice at Sally’s Mobile Photography Challenge, stop over for a visit by clicking here.

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The Sunday Traveler ~ Wrapping Up Colorado in Conifer


The Icing on the cake. A traveler’s dream. Friends who live in beautiful places. It all presented itself to this traveler on the recent Colorado trip. I was whisked from the relatively lowlands of the Denver area at 5,280 feet, to Conifer sitting up at 8,277 feet; a small community in the foothills west of Denver.


Hiking around the mountain and meadows with my friend took me a minute or two to keep up with her; I was feeling the altitude up here like I hadn’t in Denver. The breaks I took to breathe also gave me time to get photos of the beauty. At least I used that as the excuse to not seem like a wimp.



The rock formations up here are something to behold, and also raise questions of how they came to be.



An especially sacred place

There are places here that seem almost sacred


Feelings of true connection with Mother Earth are easy to feel here, and the importance of preserving this earth in all its glory.

I’ll just turn it over to the camera from here









And the Colorado state flower, the columbine


The trip home, again on Amtrak, was just as beautiful in the reverse order, leaving Denver’s Union station. All aboard!  As we pull out, seeing construction workers waving at the train, fly fishermen, ducks and geese in the early morning sun on that sparkling river, horses and deer in the grassy hillsides. And then we’re off into the canyons.



See you next week with a shift in location, and return to Atotonilco, Mexico, that I hadn’t included in previous posts about San Miguel de Allende.


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Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge ~ Black and White. Inside and Out




The underpinnings of the train, the back and forth and up and down workings that make the train go; this description should send any mechanical engineers into outer orbit! These are things I need not fill my head with…all I know is that my seat was right above this one thingy, and I wanted in the worst way to squirt some WD-40 on it.

Moving right along (pun intended):


I took this photo through the train’s window in full-on sun; I hadn’t realized the reflection I had gotten, until I put the photo up on my laptop screen, showing me a photo of both the inside and outside of the train in one photo. I love photographic accidents serendipity.

And today I’m enjoying a little levity.

Photo taken with an iPhone 6Plus, using Camera+, edited with mobile PicMonkey, and Snapseed.

Join in, or just visit Sally for her lovely post, and that of others here



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