It has been in operation for 61 years thanks to the donations and time given by local SMA residents and visitors. It provides English language books, not only for the Gringos which live here, but also for Spanish students who are learning English. In addition to providing books, the library hosts all sorts of free programming such as English language instruction, music and art classes. The library also supports the rural school's English language programming as well as provides University scholarships for Mexican children, The tour cost $270 pesos and there were 3 bus loads (~20 seats each) and as such the tours provide the lions share of funding, aside from private donations.
Mariachi band as they waited for the tour to begin.
The first home we visited was Casa de la Cuesta and the Mask Museum - the home of Bill and Heidi LeVasseur.
|The entranceway (tunnel) to the Casa|
"Through his visits to often remote indigenous communities and his observation and documentation of masked dancing, he has also acquired an extensive knowledge of masks and masked dancing that he is eager to share." Bill was on hand to answer questions about the casa and about his collection of over 600 masks.
|The central courtyard|
|The 2nd floor balcony|
Over the rise to the south/west is a dam forming a large reservoir. There are several reservoirs in the area daming local streams and to catch runoff and prevent flooding during the rainy season serving not only for drinking water but also for irrigation.
After the tour I tagged along with the volunteers (Marc and Sue among them) for a late lunch at the Hecho en Mexico. We were there for dinner on my first night in SMA, but we were in the courtyard that time. This time we were in the "Toller Cranston Room", which features works from this artist. Toller Cranston was a Canadian figure skater (1976 Olympic bronze medal winner) and painter. Toller retired to SMA in 1997. He passed away last year.
|One of the Toller Cranston paintings in the Hecho en Mexico|
|A self portrait|