Sometimes our Friday painting adventures turn into a Goldilocks-like quest for the “just right” capilla to paint. This week turned into a Goldilocks quest as we headed out to an unfamiliar part of the municipality using Robert de Gast’s book as a guide. His book only lists communities in which there are capillas and how many there are so we know which communities to check. Less than five percent of the capillas are represented by photos in his book so usually, we don’t know what awaits us.
So off we went on the road to Queretaro…. a capilla in the community of Puerto de Nieto in mind as our destination but open to other options.
A picture from the web of the iglesia in Cerritos was intriguing and we toyed with stopping there until we saw that it was a huge church and fronting right on the highway. So, zipping right on by, we continued on to Puerto de Nieto and found another large church with a simple, modernized facade. The interior was lovely and old stone carvings guarding the entrance to the atrium were almost captivating enough to paint. But, no, this was not Goldilocks’ capilla.
We stopped for a brief look at the hacienda in Puerto de Nieto and may return to paint parts of the hacienda at a later date.
Since we were so close, we drove to the community of Guanajuatito and found two churches side-by-side….a small and simply styled adobe capilla directly in front of a newer and imposing iglesia. But the gate was locked and painting through the gate presented an odd perspective.
On to the community of Santas Marias where, according to Robert de Gast, there were two capillas. We didn’t realize we had driven past capilla #1 twice as it looked like an abandoned tienda (small store) with a cross on top. Definitely not the Goldilocks find for today. We did find the community capilla, Las Tres Aves Marias, that had, in the recent past, undergone a major renovation with a completely redone carved stone façade. We are spoiled having painted so many charming capillas with mysterious and original carvings and paintings.
By now we were getting close to running out of time and took a chance on the small community of Fajardo de Tambula which was a ways off the main road. We had a twenty-year-old photo of this capilla which was appealing in its simplicity but were not surprised to find that the facade had been replastered and repainted.
The atrium was festooned with multicolored flags in celebration of Santa Cruz, we found the mayordomo with the key to the atrium and happily settled in the shade for a couple of hours painting to a chorus of barnyard animals.
Such are some of our painting adventures—not heavily planned but always full of surprises and delights.
We visited five communities and seven capillas. None of these communities are considered to be indigenous communities by language or traditions. Cerritos: population, 1015; elevation, 2076 meters; dwellings, 365 Puerto de Nieto: population, 1305; elevation, 2129 meters; dwellings, 315 Guanajuatito: population, 415; elevation, 2148 meters; dwellings, 101 Santas Mariás: population, 964; elevation, 2117 meters; dwellings, 283 Fajardo de Támbula: population, 244; elevation 2097 meters; dwellings, 100. To find any of these just Google Mapa Digital de Mexico and input name plus GTO for state.
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