Friday, May 13, 2016
Often when we are done painting and, while driving home, we check out potential sites for future forays. We had previously seen the attractive and still used Capilla de San Isidro Labrador (c. 1807) in La Cuadrilla (population: 487; dwellings: 109; 1866 meters; GPS 100°49’ 2.96” W, 21°03’0.32 N”).
On this Friday, when we arrived to paint, we found the gate open and the atrium festooned with colorful banners for the fiesta of San Isidro Labrador. The bells were rung and many, particularly children, arrived for mass. Small communities in the countryside frequently share priests who officiate on a schedule that can include as many as 26 different communities. This Friday we watched as a priest arrived immediately before mass on a motorcycle and then, just as fast, sped away after mass. It all happened so fast that we couldn’t find our cameras to record the images for you. You have to use your imagination.
It appears from small remnants of painted designs on the outside of the capilla that it may have, at one time, been elaborately painted. The inside has been attractively decorated and maintained–clearly a well-cared for capilla.
There are extensive documents in Spanish on the web for some of the communities we visit that detail history of the community, number of speakers of an indigenous language, method of governance, fiesta days and much more. Apparently, this community was once part of Hacienda La Petaca and between 1934 and 1937 there were serious conflicts over land rights which led, in 1937, to the establishment of ejidal land rights for La Cuadrilla. You can check out the government document, La Cuadrilla, San Miguel de Allende, for information.