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Day of the Dead 2002, Part II
The (exceptional) Annual Home Tour…Pátzcuaro Style

A wonderful new tradition has surfaced in Pátzcuaro, first held during Dia de los Muertos, 2001. Organized by Pátzcuaro's ex-pat community, the annual Home Tour is an exceptional opportunity to explore the hidden magic behind the ancient walls and heavy wooden doors of this "pueblo by the lake". Held on October 31 beginning at 10AM, all proceeds benefited the homeless and orphaned children of Pátzcuaro.

Although seven homes were toured, I am only providing a glimpse of four homes, intentionally enticing you to buy your tickets and to attend next year.

La Casa Encantada, An Artist's Retreat
Located only steps from the grand plaza, La Casa Encantada is one of the most excellent examples of an authentic, colonial Pátzcuaro home. Although lovingly updated, a photo shown to us of the kitchen circa 1930 attests to the fact that few changes have been made to this cozy, all adobe structure.

Left: The kitchen much as it appeared pre-1930. Right: A parrot welcomes us to one of several glorious patios.

Learn more about La Casa Encantada at



Casa Brunson
Next door to La Casa Encantada you will discover owner/hosts John and Phyllis at Casa Brunson, another colonial gem. The beauty of this renovated colonial home beckons you to enter room after art-filled room, separated by gardens and patios of complete serenity.

To learn more about Casa Brunson, visit

Dining Room at Casa Brunson  

Casa del Gigante
I have been waiting for eleven years to cross through the giant doors that I have passed so often on the Plaza de Vasco Quiroga, and I was not disappointed. The arches and scale of this monumental home are indeed giant, and many tales, history and lore are a part of this private home. Until I was inside the massive doors, I did not realize that there was truly a giant standing watch over all who enter. As often is the case, photos cannot capture the scope and ambiance of the most famous home in Pátzcuaro.

The giant awaits…
Beyond the massive entrance doors.
The upper portals supported by exquisite cantera stone.

More about the Casa del Gigante may be found at

La Casa de Monsignor Diego de Ponce Monroy
Fondly known as "Padre Diego", the owner of this home is indeed a Monsignor at the Basilica de Virgin de Guadalupe in Mexico City. Rick and I have watched the work progress on this beautiful home, and were aware of the many commissions created specifically for this home by folk artists and friends. In a word, the home is exquisite in every way combining the finest art and antiques with the wonderful folk art of Mexico.

Right: One of the bedrooms. Center: Day of the Dead altar, homage to "Padre Diego's" family. Left: An antique santo sits in contemplation
Left: An assemblage of folk art could be found on every level surface in this home. Right: The massive commissioned mermaid by Tiburcio Soteno (six feet tall?) graces the entrada of "Padre Diego's" Pátzcuaro home.

After touring the homes and enjoying the day, we all returned to La Casa Encantada for another annual event…a wonderful cocktail party complete with margaritas, tasty tidbits of food, a blazing fire, and live music. Again, all proceeds went to the orphans of Pátzcuaro and over $2,000 US was raised this year.

While Pátzcuaro is wonderful to visit anytime of the year, this special opportunity to see these (very) private homes awaits only during Dia de los Muertos. Now that your collecting and decorating taste buds have been awakened…it's time to get to work on your own "casa"!

December 19, 2002
By Debra Hall
ZOCALO Fine Folk Art
San Miguel de Allende, MEXICO
Pátzcuaro, MEXICO