Monday, June 23, 2014

The Power Of Community




In my last post, On The Wings Of Women, I talked about the efforts of some wonderful women in Patzcuaro working to improve their community. Now I feel I should give San Miguel de Allende it’s due and share an amazing community project here. El Camino de la Paz.  The Path of Peace.

This passage, an alley really, in the San Antonio area behind the Café Monet was a dangerous spot. Dim and urine soaked, ideal for thieves and muggers, it twists and turns with many dark nooks and crannies in which to hide. There are a few businesses that front on the alley, one of which is a B&B and Holistic Center called Lifepath,

One day Dr. Beverly Nelson, the owner and operator of Lifepath decided to change all that, giving the alley a much needed make-over. Beverly rallied the community to help with this transformation and the new pathway became El Camino de la Paz. The first step was the cleanup. Gone was the scent of urine and the dark cubby holes created by overgrown plants. Lights were added every few meters and cameras now survey those who stroll the alleyway.

So many people donated their time and money to this project! After the cleanup came the beautification. Many local artists contributed their time and expertise to create something truly magical.


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Joan Columbus and crew               


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Joan also supervised and painted most of the doors and windows that were painted at intervals along the path, giving the alley a feeling of neighbourhood and community.


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The Mandala


Linda Lainos, another talented local artist, was responsible for the mandala. A perfect addition to the project, the mandala is a spiritual and ritual symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism which metaphysically or symbolically represents the cosmos.



The Peace Pole


The Peace Pole is the brain child of artist, Michael Latriano. It is a mosaic tile post proclaiming in English, Spanish and Nahuatl (the indigenous language of Guanajuato) “May Peace Prevail”. The angel mosaic on the left says peace in each path, and when the sun is setting it lights the angel’s halo.


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The genius of Carlos Caban 


Carlos Caban, painter, muralist and wonderful man gave the project “The Goddess of Seeds”, a spectacular mural on one of three panels created for the purpose. I look forward to seeing what he will paint to grace the other two panels.


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The Goddess of Seeds


The inauguration of the new Camino de la Paz took place, appropriately, on Earth Day and there was a Peace Walk, attended by hundreds of people, from Parque Juarez to Aldea where the Path begins. The celebration continued in the walkway with local dancers and more paintings from Carlos Caban. The transformation of this dangerous spot to a beautiful community area is nothing short of miraculous!


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All of the photographs in this post and the following video are curtesy of Todd McIntosh

Camino de la Paz - San Miguel de Allende from Todd McIntosh on Vimeo.


  1. Oh I LOVE this! Thank you so much for sharing it. It's a destination! A must see now! Lovely. Just lovely. It is the essence of community. It is the essence of why we're here. So joyful. I am moved beyond measure.

    Thank you and Todd for bringing attention to it.

    1. You're most welcome Barbara. I know what you mean, there is something magical that happens when a whole community takes it upon themselves to improve their living space.

  2. What a lovely transformation for Lifepath and San Miguel de Allende. Thanks for sharing.

    1. You're welcome Barbara. Have you been down to see it yet? It's really wonderful!