It started as a silver mining town in the 1600′s and grew to a population of about 30,000 people, but the silver eventually dried up and the population soon followed. It was revitalized in the 20th century by American ex-pats, and with its former glory partially restored, the Mexican government named it a pueblo mágico.
To me, it’s a cozy little mountain town with narrow brick streets that remind me of Sevilla. It has a central square scattered with food and craft carts and a whole building dedicated to a mercado artesanía, which we sadly missed. I’ve been waiting for opportunities to gawk at bobbles and jewelry that I couldn’t buy without blowing our budget. Ah well. There will be more markets.
I like how the phrase pueblo mágico invokes the wonderful world of magical realism that Latin America is famous for. I feel obligated to sit down at the top of a hill and read García Márquez. In practical terms, the designation means the town gets federal funds for restoration, primarily for running underground electricity so the town’s colonial architecture isn’t marred by poles and wires. Huh. Good idea.
If I’m ever in this area again, I’d like to stay a bit longer in Álamos and catch that artisan market. In any case, this is going down in my book of recommendations.
Posted from Álamos, Sonora, Mexico.