A city so good, they named it twice.
08/31/2014 - 10/04/2014
After several weeks of exploring Nicaragua, Panama and a couple of southern Mexican cities, it was time to buckle down and get back to Spanish classes. For five weeks we settled into one of the most fabulous cities I have ever seen, Guanajuato, and studied at Plateros Spanish School.
The city has numerous identities: cultural capital of Mexico, capital of the state of Guanajuato, once home to some of the largest silver (and other metals) mines in the world, home of the acclaimed International Cervatino Festival, and one of the oldest universities in Latin America. I fell in love with Guanajuato: it's university-student vibe, mix of colorful architecture (and it's a city of tunnels!), and amazing culture (we saw breathtaking performances of the city's Ballet Folklore and the Symphony Orchestra).
The center of our activities in Guanajuato (GTO to locals) was our Spanish school. Our teachers at Plateros were generous with their time, enthusiastic about teaching the Spanish language and joyful to be around. Every Wednesday evening teachers and students gather for "cafe social" at one of the city's bars. It was a great way to practice Spanish and meet current and former students who now live in Guanajuato. Our homestay experience was an absolute delight thanks to the generous housemother, Imelda. Each day after class we trekked up one of Guanajuato's mountainous-like streets (if you live in this town, there's no need for a treadmill, I guarantee you) to be met with authentic Mexican food and sometimes Spanish language quiz games.
A typical sidewalk in Guanajuato.
Our Spanish teachers at Plateros and fellow students.
We were lucky to be in town for the celebration of Mexican Independence and just a couple of weeks later on September 28th when the city celebrates Día de la Toma de la Alhóndiga or the Taking of the Alhóndiga, a fort that was taken over by Mexicans from the Spaniards. This was as much of a celebration as the one for Independence.
The geography and architecture of this city is breathtaking.
I will miss Guanajuato and those brutal to walk but beautiful hillside streets. I will be back!