Arrival in San Miguel de Allende the first of March was not planned around the schedule of festivals to begin taking place for that month. I had been away from any intensive stay in Mexico for a while, and hadn’t thought to check on what events might be happening during my month long stay. My trip had been planned around volunteering at Casa de Los Angeles, a day care center for low income moms. What serendipity that March was filled with incredible festivals and events culminating in Semana Santa (Holy Week).
The volunteer house for Casa de Los Angeles is about a twenty-minute walk from the Centro Historico/Plaza Principal (historic center of town and garden). Another thing I had not found in all my research on San Miguel Allende (SMA), is that it sits at an altitude of 6,234 feet elevation! I had arrived in SMA March 1st, and didn’t have the energy to walk into town until Friday, the 4th. I could not figure out my fatigue until someone mentioned the altitude. As happened throughout my stay, synchronicity played a huge part in what I stumbled upon in my wanderings.
I rounded a corner to find one of the main streets leading into the Centro, and to find a flow of people headed there. The Indian Conchero Dancers were on their way to participate in the First Friday of March festival of Our Lord of the Conquest. With this, I just decided to go with the flow, follow the dancers, and the deafeningly loud steady drum beat coming from the Plaza/Jardin Principal area. This was an incredibly beautiful and colorful late afternoon event in this incredibly beautiful old colonial town located in central Mexico.
San Miguel is home to many American and Canadian expats, but is also an attraction to visitors from all over the world, and from all over Mexico; it is home to hundreds of artists, writers, and students. The cultural aspect of SMA is unparalleled.