Our “bible” for adventures in the municipality of San Miguel, Robert de Gast’s book “Churches and Chapels of San Miguel de Allende”, only lists one capilla in Alonso Yanez, but an oral history mentions a Capilla of Santa Cruz that has a plaque with the date of 1779 and another Capilla of San Miguel Arcángel that may be more than 100 years old. A hand-drawn map found on the internet that is very out of focus seems to indicate three capillas. We will have to explore another time. But for now, here is what we found and painted.
We painted this charming and tiny capilla in the atrium of a much larger and modern capilla or iglesia. Capilla de Santa Cruz de Oro y Plata is the name we were told by locals. So possibly this is the one with the 1779 plaque??? Since we couldn’t see inside, it is difficult to tell the age.
Sometimes I feel as though I am sitting in the last chair of a game of telephone and don’t know whether any information…oral or written is to be believed.
And, yes, the red was that red….the turquoise bright as well.
Some of the places we visit are identified as indigenous communities and are part of a statewide effort to collect and publish oral histories. Alonso Yáñez, about 25 minutes from San Miguel, is one such community. Although only three people speak Otomi, this community has preserved its Otomi customs and identifies itself as an indigenous community. According to the people living in the community, Alonso Yáñez was the name of a hacienda owner who lived in this area long ago. Following is a brief chronology of the community that documents how isolated this community has been. Most of the communities we have visited have a similar history.
1921 The first settlers arrived; although, there may have been people here as early as 1905.
1963 The presidential resolution was issued to establish the ejido of Alonso Yáñez.
1967 The first classroom was built.
1981 Work began on installing the electricity network in the community.
1992 The dirt road that gives access to the town was built.
1997 The telesecundaria (distance learning) construction work began and the community preschool was built.
Alonso Yáñez: Population, 475; dwellings, 97; elevation, 1834; Longitud (dec): -100.856111, Latitud (dec): 20.830833
In addition to finding a sweet spot to paint in Alonso Yáñez, we did a lot of bumping along the back roads on Friday. About a year ago we painted at Los Tovares (same general area) and on the way back we tried to find the capilla in Alonso Yáñez but couldn´t get past some road work. Rereading the post about Los Tovares, I was reminded that we thought the road was terrible. It has been graded since last year but is still rutted and rocky in places. If Rick Wendling hadn’t been driving his truck, we might not have persevered, but we did, and were rewarded with remarkable views and more capillas in other small communities, possibly, to paint another day.
With the Jacaranda in full bloom, there is no need for plastic flags to decorate this capilla in La Angostura. La Angostura: Population, 60; dwellings, 16; elevation, 2065 meters and Longitude (dec): -100.880000, Latitude (dec): 20.812500
There are four old and cracked bells hung in front of the rebuilt capilla in Los Martinez indicating it was the site of a much older structure. Inside is a document listing donors with the date of 1935. Los Martinez: Population, 189; dwellings, 52; elevation, 1815.