Last post, I mentioned the former "ghost town" of Mineral de la Luz with promises of more. It's not that there's yet a lot of there there, to paraphrase Gertrude Stein. They have hopes: Endeavour, the Canadian mining company we ran across in the little towns near San Sebastián del Oeste, is operating in the Guanajuato area too.
New homogenous signs label most of the businesses in town, few of which were open.
The few residents we met, most of whom were mothers walking their children home from school, seemed flat out amazed to see us and welcomed us with sweet smiles and conversation. But several of the shop owners were wrapped in fat parkas with Endeavor Mining logos. So something's going on, but what it is wasn't all that evident on that cold January day.
What we found on the way there, and outside of Mineral itself, I found much more compelling.
One gets to Mineral de la Luz by taking a hard left at Guanajuato's Templo de la Valenciana, the big church where I saw the wondrous concert during the Festival Cervantino a few months back. By taking the right fork just before the Valenciana Mine entrance, one ends up on a cobbled road. Shortly before the road turns to dirt and rock, this medieval mirage appears:
I don't know what it is. Believe me, I've Googled. If anyone else knows, tell us, please.
A little further up the road is a shrine to the Child Doctor of the Sick, a version of the Christ child we also encountered in the Parroquia in San Miguel.
Forty minutes or so along the dirt road, one comes to the fancy new avenida into Mineral de la Luz. A bit past that turn is a road into an Endeavour operation where we came across an old hacienda, a long-abandoned part of the original silver mining boom in the area, now likely a part of the Endeavour claim.
And then we spotted, on the other side of the dirt road from these ruins, what appears to be an old family cemetery. It wasn't fenced. Scattered garbage showed that the property has been used for partying over the years. Around the perimeter of what is now a bare lot are the remains of the family tombs, stark in the cold light.
They had been looted. Ragged holes chopped into the sides of the beautiful old monuments gave evidence of the intrusion and disrespect of subsequent generations.
It seemed to me, as we wandered around this now desolate site, that this was once a family garden. The few remaining lovely old trees hinted of a landscaped park. I pictured the big family gathered there for Sunday afternoon picnics and fetes, surrounded by the resting places of their loved ones whose presence Mexican families honor and celebrate.
Nobody home now.
We retreated from the chill of weather and neglect and headed back down the road to Guanajuato.
Another day, another daytrip, another glimpse into the deep heart of Mexico.