This was our first time offering a 2nd pop-up in the same location! Normally we run our pop-up, enjoy our time with all the worldschoolers, and then mosey on our way to the next great destination.
However, with the Project World School Family Summit happening right before this pop-up, we knew we'd have more families to join in our exploration of Guanajuato and the surrounding area... and there was still lots to explore! It's amazing what neat nooks and crannies you find when a whole slew of worldschoolers start poking around.
One of our first nights we ventured out on an alleyway tour with a group of minstrels and story tellers. They were tremendously entertaining... and though the presentation was only in Spanish, we were able to pick up on the stories, jokes, and excitement [and appreciated the translations we got from other group members].
We followed the dancing puppets and clapped and twirled our way down the streets. In one of the squares we even got to limbo under the upright bass (this guy kept on playing as someone else picked up his endpin and off we went)! They were an extremely talented group and one of the most fun nights we've had in a long time as we learned to shout 'ole' at the right moment. What a lovely evening as the sun went down and the city lights twinkled.
Even though this was our second week in the same location, we found new activities and new friends. We explored the Museo Alhondiga and it's beautiful, yet thought-provoking, murals and wonderful collection of indigenous artifacts. This museum is housed in a former granary which became an important battle site of the Mexican War for Independence. The loyalists to Spain had holed themselves up in the granary but insurgents burned down the doors and a terrible massacre followed... the insurgents were victorious, but blood stains were reported to be visible nearly 100 years after the battle.
As we've noticed in other areas of Mexico, the brilliant murals tell the story of how the Native Americans clashed with the colonialists... and how they were mistreated, enslaved, suppressed, and otherwise ravaged. Most countries tend to bury these stories of their brutal pasts, but here the stories are respected and preserved.
Another new place to explore was the Ex-Hacienda San Antonio de Barrera -- a stately home with fantastic gardens, paved walkways, statues, and loads of original furniture. During our first pop-up week, one of our families visited this gem on their own and reported back that it would be lovely to add in our second week's itinerary. I'm so glad we did! Plenty of shade, lots of interesting garden styles, and a glimpse into aristocratic life funded by the local mining operations.
We definitely had plenty of museums and history lessons, but our outdoor time hanging in the plazas, grabbing a coffee, hiking El Cerro de La Bufa, and revisiting Splash Waterpark were highlights of the week, too!
Yes, our summit photo shows where we started our hike in Guanajuato town down below! El Cerro de la Bufa takes about 1.5 hours to ascend and offers caves and interesting rock formations along the way. We walked with a local guide (Isadora from K'ooben Tsee'k Cooking School) and she told us stories of the hills and their legends. La Bufa indicates the whistling noise the mountain makes in high winds.
*Photo Credits: Amanda Richardson-Meyer, Rachel Carlson, & Terry Borer
Our other activities included a return trip to Resplandor to volunteer with the local children (we did paper crafts, songs, yoga, and soccer), add-on cooking classes where one group got to use the metate to grind the seeds and spices for homemade mole sauce, revisiting the Mummy Museum with those who hadn't seen it yet, and exploring the indoor Hidalgo Market.
*Photo credits: Jill Costello & Rachel Carlson
And as always, we forged new friendships and learned a lot about ourselves. One major lesson this time is that we needed to give ourselves some rest days and time to process our time at the extraordinary Project World School Family Summit.
During the 5-day summit there was so much discussed from educating our kids, to not being jerky tourists, to living gently on the earth, to ingrained fears, to unpacking lots of beliefs and changing our perspectives! An amazing time for sure, but we also needed a little downtime to process and absorb.
However, the pop-up worked out brilliantly with the laid-back itinerary. Families were able to take a day off and join in as they pleased. Plus Guanajuato is such an easy-going town that even just strolling the streets and enjoying the architecture was lovely on its own. We rounded out our week with a relaxed day in a plaza and created space for the younger kids (and their parents) to chat with the teens about how they envision their futures, what sorts of benefits they've received from worldschooling, and what sorts of strategies they use with naysayers, social interactions and other common concerns of this lifestyle.
*Photo credits: Rachel Carlson, Jill Costello, & Tobi Jarzombek
Thanks to all of you for jumping into this mobile community. It always warms my heart to see how quickly we relate to one another and find connections on deeper levels. We cannot wait to cross paths with you again!
PS Super huge thanks to my co-hosts, Annie & Jill... it was great being able to plan and tag-team with you during our Guanajuato pop-ups! I seriously could not have done it without your guidance and assistance.
If anyone else is ever interested in hosting an event with us, we'll walk you through the whole process. More info here: Become a Host