Pozos: Mining Creativity
Trip Start Apr 15, 2009
22Trip End Jun 17, 2009
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Pozos: Mining Creativity
Just a 45-minute drive east of San Miguel, Pozos is a “Pueblo Fantasma,” or ghost town that is slowly coming back to life. Originally settled by the Spanish because of nearby silver deposits, Pozos was, in the early 1900’s, a booming mining town of over 60,000 people. Amid the class conflict of the Mexican Revolution (wealthy landowners vs. the landless poor), the owners of the mines shut them down and retreated to larger, more secure urban centers.
Pozos withered and now has only about 6,000 people. With this smaller population,
many of the town’s buildings are just picturesque ruins. We were told that the permanent Gringo population has now increased to 12, with another 35 or so living there part time.
Today, we had the pleasure of meeting about half of the permanent population, courtesy of our friends Que Throm and Cicero Greathouse.
They had invited us to join them to see Cicero’s painting exhibit in Pozos, and the day expanded into an art lover’s holiday.
Gallery 6, right on the Plaza Principal, provided a beautiful setting in which to enjoy Cicero’s wonderful abstract art. Cicero’s own website can show you his art much better than my photos; please see http://www.cicerogreathouse.com/
Next door to Gallery 6 at El Secreto de Pozos, the same owners, Nic Hamblen
and Manrey Silva, have created a beautiful artistic experience disguised as a
bed-and-breakfast. The gardens are a series of small spaces with every corner
filled with cacti, other succulents, and sculptural elements. Inside, the design
might best be called “Nuevo Mexicano,” with some very creative touches such
as the border of river rock between the floor tile and the walls. See their web
site for more photos. http://www.mineraldepozos.com/eng/stay/secreto.htm
Next, we had lunch at the biggest hotel in town – 8 rooms, I believe -- Hotel Posada de las Minas. Recaptured by Dave Winslow, whom we met, and his wife Julie from one of the town’s many ruined buildings, the hotel also has beautiful gardens to explore and enjoy. These extraordinary delights were created by some very talented and brave new residents of this old town. But perhaps the most extraordinary new residents are Dar Burleson and her partner Cynthia Buzzard, who have created a lavender farm from scratch.
In addition to having planted 6,400 lavender plants, these creative and industrious women are developing an equestrian center and more; see http://lavendarfarmsofpozos.blogspot.com/
We are looking forward to going back to Pozos soon to explore the town more
thoroughly. Meanwhile, we feel honored to have met so many of the creative
new residents and to have had the chance to enjoy their creations.