Senor and Linda Lou have been in Pueblo Alamos, Sonora, Mexico for 10 years.
Every day brings a new discovery.
They are still working on the casa............Senor says, it won't be long.........but Linda Lou says, it won't be long until what..............stay tuned to find out what's next.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Pueblo Magico

Buenas Dias! Last night I took about twenty photos of the sunset. It was hard to choose which one to show you, so I settled on two.

I want to tell you a little about Alamos and then, take you on a walk.

Alamos was designated a Pueblo Magico in 2001. Becoming a Pueblo Magico is an extremely important recognition; it enables a town to receive federal money to preserve certain buildings, to restore churches, to bury above ground power lines, to preserve and restore the areas within and surrounding cemeteries, to update alamedas and plazas. In other words, many things that will beautify a town and preserve it historically can be done in a Pueblo Magico, and all of these things will help to promote tourism. There are only 30 towns in all of Mexico to have this honor.
I first heard about Alamos being a Pueblo Magico when I worked at DIF after the hurricane. A news crew was in the kitchen and the reporter kept saying...Alamos, Pueblo Magico............and when we would stop working for a few moments to watch news coverage on the DIF tv, the words Pueblo Magico were always used in the same sentence as Alamos. So I knew it was something special, just not exactly what it meant.

By becoming a Pueblo Magico and receiving money for these improvements, Alamos becomes a candidate for being chosen as a World Heritage Site. Another unique recognition and even more money for improvements and restorations, all of which can only bring more tourism and more dollars.

There are many things being done outside of town; a beautiful new archway is being built and two new bridges (to replace hurricane damaged roadway) are being constructed on the carreterra leading into Alamos.

I find all of this activity fascinating and in my next few posts I want to show you some of the work. Part of the fascination is how they work, how the construction is done, the other is just to watch it get done. Sometimes, the work seems muy rapido and other times, as if everyone is on siesta. I like that, there is no hurry here.

So, instead of going to the track this morning, I walked to town for some photos. I went at 5:30 and there was not a soul on the streets. Typically there are so many people and vehicles that it would have been hard to take these pictures. So, let's go!

Below, I am walking to the alameda, on the main street into Alamos. The wall on the right, while not real exciting to look at, is actually very exciting to tell you about. This long, long wall that encloses the current governor's (Bour's) property, was completely blown inward by the hurricane. . The land was very damaged, structures on the property ruined. Now, six months after Norbert, the wall has been completely rebuilt. This is a huge wall! At the next cross street (Galeana) the wall continues for the block. It is a very significant rebuilding.

We are almost to the end of the wall and the cross street, Galeana. Ahead, where the bushy trees are, is the alameda.

Getting closer, we are going through the roundabout, or glorietta. It goes around the statue of Benito Juarez, one of the most famous and well loved presidents of Mexico. Directly behind the statue is a popular food store and an inn above. The electrical lines you see in the photo, above Madero, are yet to come down, but will one day be underground.

The alameda (to the left behind the statue) is the commercial center of town. Usually the streets are lined with taco stands and people strolling and city workers cleaning. Cars, bicycles, horses and carts fill the streets. Old cottonwoods (for which Alamos is named), palms and other lacy leaved trees fill the alameda. Until the restoration of the alameda began, a large volleyball and basketball court were in the center. Those have now been removed and new projects are underway. Above, to the right, on Madero, you can just see the beginning of the sun coming up, that pale pink glow.

Above, we are almost to the alameda.

In the photo below we are looking back the way we have just come. If we followed this road we would leave town, going past DIF, the hospital, the Pemex, the soccer field, the Artesanias Mercado and eventually, down the mountain to Navajoa!

Below, we are on the alameda. Where there used to be an old cement walkway, new stone walkways have been laid.

Construction items lay around the old fountain in this photo. The TBC bus station is across, on the other side of the alameda and is the only activity today, at this time of the morning. When we stayed in Alamos in 2007, we stayed in an inn on the alameda, and I know for a fact, that it is generally not this quiet here in the mornings! Perhaps alot of people are still recovering from Santa Semana........

The area below was once the old volleyball and basketball court. You can see the new stone that has been laid, leading up to the new gazebo.

Workers are beginning to arrive and another bus departs from the station.

The gazebo below and what looks like a low wall that will probably have an iron railing on top of it. Lots of rebar will go into this project.

In the photo below we are looking back the way we just came. You can see the beautiful new lampposts that have been installed, but no fixtures yet. The steps to the right lead up to the gazebo. On Sunday we were down here and there were so many families and people that we could barely get through the crowd. It was of course, tiangus (market) day.

The building at the end of the alameda is the side of the mercado. The red chair is one of the shoeshine chairs and you can see the new hand railing that has been innstalled for the new steps.

This is a new building going up at the very end of the alameda. We are still not sure what it will be. There was an old restaurant here and that structure was taken down and this new one is going up. Someone told me it may be a new restaurant.

This looks very similar to what Senor is doing, see the wood form beams and the way they are supported?

Below, are the new hand railings and steps and to the right, an inn.

Below, looking back the way we came, you can see the lampposts and the new handicapped ramps and railings. The second story to the left of the trees is another inn.

The mercado is sleeping in the photo below. Its huge iron gates are still locked tight.

If we continued down this street, alongside the mercado, we would get to the Callejon del Beso, or the 'kissing alley'. A walk through this lovely cobblestone alleyway would take us to the Plaza de Armas, where the church is undergoing a beautiful restoration. One morning I will take you there. It's right beyond the white truck in the photo below.

We just drove to Navajoa, to pay the Telmex bill, which I am pleased to say is finally dropping a little since our daughter got skype. Out on the carraterra, the workers are up on top of the new archway and they have actually built the arch now. It looks great. The bridges were quiet, but it looks like they plan to keep one of the old bridges and connect a second bridge to it. I will try and show you all that tomorrow.
Adios, linda lou
PS: some of my information comes from the Alamos Guidebook, written by Donna McGee and BK Hamma, but re written in my words. If you come to Alamos, the guidebook will be the first thing you will want to get in preparation for your trip. My other sources of information are a few of my mexican friends whom I am so happy to say, always slow down the cadence of the language when I ask them for information and then, I can usually understand most of it.


Brenda said...

Nice tour. Thanks.

Chrissy and Keith said...

Wow, they have done so much since Norbert. The Alameda is looking great!

Glenn Ian Huntington said...

Really enjoy the tour and it's great to see rebuilding and the familiar places again.