El Instituto Allende (San Miguel Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico)

San Miguel Allende from afarIronically enough, despite the fact that I’ve done a lot of travel writing, I have rarely written about Mexico (and also ironically enough, about Guanajuato, the state where my parents live). And not because I haven’t travelled in the country itself (my parents’ philosophy was “get to know your country first before you get to know any other“). Mostly, because I have spent the vast majority of my previous years writing travel posts focused on promoting Canada.

But since I decided in 2012 that my blog’s main focus would be travel, I figured I need to dust off material I already had prepared for when I decided to write about other countries I have visited and/or lived in (for example, Mexico). One of the most beautiful cities in the state of Guanajuato (San Miguel Allende) is home to two of the people I love the most in the world: my best friends’ parents. Both of them ex-pats, they are as Mexican as they come (simply because they have adopted Mexico with as much love as Mexico has adopted them). My best friends’ parents contribute to life in San Miguel Allende and they have invited me several times to visit them.

El Instituto  San Miguel Allende Guanajuato 2

The last time I went to see them, I brought along my friend ML and my Mom. We went by El Instituto Allende, basically the arts hub in San Miguel Allende. From the Instituto’s website I gathered that it played a catalytic role in San Miguel Allende’s economic and social development:

San Miguel de Allende was founded in 1542, reached its heydey in the 17th century and underwent a severe economic crisis in the late 18th century. The wealthy moved elsewhere and the destiny of the town sank in a sea of uncertainty.

In 1927, while touring Mexico encouraged by intellectuals Alfonso Reyes and Jose Vasconcelos, Peruvian artist and diplomat in exile, Felipe Cossío del Pomar visited San Miguel de Allende and fell in love qith the quality of light. Some ten years later, following a dream, he started the Escuela Universitaria de Bellas Artes on the premises of a former convent at that time serving as an army barracks.
San Miguel then began to write a new chapter of its history in which education and art played a major role.

The school attracted students who meant income for the local merchants. Money began to flow in. A new hotel was built; home windows became showcases filled with merchandise for the new clientele. The town boomed almost overnight.

After reading some of the history of El Instituto Allende, I find a bit embarrassing that, given how much art is a central part of my blog, I have not paid enough attention to the fine arts, to be quite honest. I do support local art galleries in Vancouver, especially the Vancouver Art Gallery, but I really need to increase exposure on the fine arts, as much as I do with the performing arts.

El Instituto  San Miguel Allende Guanajuato

When we visited, we had a chance to walk around and enjoy the architecture of El Instituto itself. The interiors are gorgeous and it looks like an extremely conducive environment to undertake training in the fine arts. I will have to come back to San Miguel Allende to visit El Instituto Allende again.

Related posts:

  1. Festival Internacional Cervantino 2012 (Guanajuato, Guanajuato) #MexMonday
  2. Guanajuato International Film Festival 2012 (Guanajuato, Guanajuato) #MexMonday #WeVisitMexico
  3. El Chorro (San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico)
  4. Enroute to San Miguel Allende
  5. Travelling around San Miguel de Allende

Comments (2)

Born27July 4th, 2012 at 3:44 am

Wow! This structure was much much older than me. But look at this, it’s still good and still a respected institution. This should be preserved for our future children.

charlotte bellJune 10th, 2013 at 12:01 pm

Check out your history. Look up Sterling Dickenson.

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