My weekly sojourn in the jardin on Friday was enhanced by the visit of school groups from all over Mexico visiting on field trips. In years past, the kids would come up and ask if they could talk to you in English.
That continues to be the norm. One will ask you your name in English, then another, then another, then, well you get the idea. On Friday they swarmed the bench to ask questions.
Then, I turned the tables and asked them their names. I also asked where they were from. Most were from Leon, Guanajuato. The politeness of each and every child is mesmerizing. They ALWAYS say "Thank you" and listen attentively. They always say "Good bye" and wave. I'm impressed. Lotsa kids with lotsa smiles.
As if that wasn't interesting enough, out of the corner of my left eye, I saw the Virgen Mary statue being carried down the street heading for the Parroquia. No big machinery, just human beings carrying this statue down the street and up the stairs into the church. I would estimate it is about ten feet tall. I'm assuming they had taken it somewhere for repairs. There are many restorers of church statuary in San Miguel. With twenty-two churches, it seems they would be busy most of the year.
At the end of the hour, the students were swarming the statue by the Parroquia for the required group photo to document their trip to San Miguel. Life and kids are the same, in some ways, all over the world!
But, I must admit, no two days are alike in the jardin in San Miguel. Well, at least not yet and I've been doing this for almost 15 years.
Beautiful photos! I know I keep saying this, but someday I'm going to sit there to witness the ever changing scene.
Beck, it will happen when it is the right time~.........
This is one of the fabulous things about all of Mexico. Every town has a public square, and for almost all of them, the square is the locus of public life where people go to see, be seen, meet friends, buy a coffee, whatever. It's a kind of public, community life that we so lack here in the USA.
When I was in Tehuacán with Edgar, even though the town isn't exactly exciting, we'd often go in the evenings to the Zócalo to just hang out, walk a circuit or two, and be part of the scene. It's oddly fun and entertaining, costs nothing, and puts us all into contact with our community.
I'm glad you're sharing your own Zócalo/Jardín experiences with us.
Where Copley square has some of that, but most of the time is too cold to merely hang out.
Interesting about the young children. When I was a teenager back in the early 70s living in Bangkok, there were many backpackers coming through from Europe (mainly Germany and Scandinavian countries) who spoke fairly good English.
It seems that a few more European and even Asian countries are teaching English at younger ages, in addition to their native language studies. Do you see that starting to happen there (at least in the larger populated areas)? Given that English has become one of the standard languages for business it would make sense.
Hi Scott - As far as I know, at least in San Miguel, they don't teach English in the primary schools or kindergarten. These kids were about 8th graders and Leon is a big city so it is possible they are learning there.
Many well meaning ex-pats go into the villages and teach English to the parents and the children. The Mexicans that I have talked to do not want that, because they don't want their culture changed. It's an interesting crossroads.
Kim, the jardin is a joyful place. At night there are mariachis and estudiantes from Guanajuato. Throw in a few clowns and break dancers, at least on the weekends and you have a place to never be lonely.
Indeed, if the USA had more jardins instead of malls people might not be so disconnected.
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