January 6, 2003

The Postcard from Mexico reporting on the Second Annual Home Tour of Pátzcuaro was only a glimpse of the seven homes toured. There is so much more to see, and so many more stories to tell far exceeding the perimeters of my "Postcards". But I do have to show you a bit of "Hector's Cottage".

Yes, the opportunity to view the completed home of Monsignor Diego de Ponce Monroy (stationed at the Basilica of the Virgin de Guadalupe in Mexico City) was such a thrill after years of remodeling, but the folk art collection as seen in the Day of the Dead Part II Postcard is such a tiny sampling of the glorious folk art and religious collection displayed in "Padre Diego's" home.

Without a doubt, one of the highlights of Muertos 2002 was the invitation from Hector Bustamante, personal secretary to the Monsignor, for our merry crew to attend the inauguration of the newly remodeled "cottage" near Pátzcuaro's basilica in the oldest part of the city. The just completed cottage is Hector's residence when the Monsignor is in Pátzcuaro (and also was included on the Home Tour).

Pictured to the right, the inner courtyard of Hector's home….the fountain's reflecting pool adorned with yellow daisies.
The kitchen table is laden with traditional, Michoacán goodies for guests to enjoy.

Held on November 2, the grand comida hosted by the Monsignor featured two bands, all foods traditional to Michoacán, and dancing and more dancing!

Inauguration of the secretary-to-the-Monsignor's casa, held on November 2, 2002
Every detail of this small house was a delight, and every display
of food and flowers for this grand comida was like a painting.
Of course, a folk art Pope stands vigil over Hector's library.

Our jolly table enjoyed every moment although we had been out until 5am the previous night touring all of the cemeteries of the region. Surrounded by the warmth of our hosts, the company of friends and our fellow Pátzcuarences, the exhaustion thankfully left our bodies quickly.

Left to Right: Rick Hall (my husband), author Chloë Sayer. Our host…The Monsignor, and dear friend Gary Barton.

In addition to serving as Hector's Pátzcuaro residence, "Padre Diego" and Hector related their plans to use this house for artesan dinners and folk art events. How marvelous…we cannot wait! Hector even purchased a photo that day from Dana Salvo (who somehow escaped being in the above photograph…isn't that just like a photographer?) from Dana's book, Home Altars of Mexico.

After all this revelry, we still had the energy to march to the cemetery on the highest hill in Pátzcuaro to further enjoy Muertos, which unlike the lake villages is celebrated on the day of November 2 in Pátzcuaro proper. For all of us, this was truly a day to remember.

Other homes that I urge you to discover while in Pátzcuaro include:
-The Buddha House"
-The home of Hilda, owner of Galleria Arcangel
-The home being remodeled by the Canadian-Mexican couple…their names escape me at the moment

So glad that you are thrilled, inspired, and are planning a trip to Pátzcuaro where the architecture and collections within are being enjoyed and preserved as never before.

January 6, 2003
By Debra Hall
ZOCALO Fine Folk Art
San Miguel de Allende, MEXICO
Pátzcuaro, MEXICO