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Saturday, April 15, 2006

San Luis Potosi

I have not blogged in a week because I have been on the road. My three womenfolk and I just returned from a week-long visit to San Luis Potosi ("SLP") in Mexico. SLP is a large city that is not well-known to gringos. It is the capital of the state (also called San Luis Potosi) and it is a land-locked city in roughly in the center of Mexico. The state of San Luis Potosi has a population of about 2.3 million; over 500,000 these folks are in the capital city . We spent most of the week in the city, but we did head out to el campo for a couple of days to visit family that lives on a ranch in the mountains.

SLP City is old, man. It was founded in the late 16th century by Catholic missionaries from Spain; gold and silver was discovered, so the small village ballooned into a sprawling metropolis very quickly. The main city retains a Spanish colonial feel, with plazas and parks a major factor in the urban environment. Many of the streets are made of old stone blocks. The average city building looks to be over 100 years old. Any fan of classic architecture will find SLP to be delightful.

Catholicism is everywhere in SLP - our hotel was near the Carmen Cathedral, a huge, ornate structure that was built in the 19th century; we were within walking distance of at least 5 other major cathedrals and a dozen humbler churches. Since we were in SLP during Holy Week, there were constant processions and celebrations. We saw a large, yet casual, procession of folks carrying a statue of Jesus on a pedestal several miles to a major cathedral - it was a festive event, complete with drums, bugles and fireworks. In San Luis, Catholicism is the organizing force in the lives of the people.

I might write a bit more about San Luis Potosi later.

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