A day does not go by that I do not sit in the town's central plaza, el jardin and watch life go by. It is the meeting place for locals and tourist alike.
La Parroquia, the parish church, is the focal point of the jardin.
The original construction of the church began in 1689 with a 1000 pesos and was completed some 40 years later. Later on structural problems were detected and in 1880, the local priest commissioned a local indigenous stone mason, Ceferino Gutirrez, to shore up the foundation and add a new facade to its rather bland exterior. This time, the budget was 12,000 pesos.
With zero formal training, Gutirrez designed the church from postcards and photos from magazines. He drew his plans each day in the sand using a stick so his workers would know what to do. You can't go about your day without hearing the wonderful sounds of the eight church bells ringing by the hour.
One of the many beauties of La Parroquia is the ever changing colors of the pink sandstone! I shot the photo to the right from my mirador (rooftop patio) just as the sun was setting. The lighting was so remarkable, I barely had time to run downstairs, grab my camera, put on the telephoto lens and run back up before the sun set.
Every night la Parroquia is lite up beautifully. There are mariachis serenading couples, children playing, people eating roasted corn from one of the many food carts, the occasional fireworks, vendors selling baloons ........ always someting going on!