Thursday, May 24, 2012

Hearing Harps & Super Adobe

Another reason why I moved to Mexico is that celebration seems to be ingrained in our DNA structure...We live for and love celebrating life, and this is reflected in our cultural festivals.  May happens to be a primary cultural festival month as evidenced  by the 9th Annual Encounter of Harps, Salterios y Mas!, which we attended yesterday at the Cultural Center here at Lake Chapala.

The festival is free to the public and this day, not only was the entry being gifted to the local people, but food and drink was also being generously handed out.  I myself  partook of the tequila...over and over and over again!

Local Audience

Two Damas enjoying the comida y drinks

Beautiful Arpas

The groups ranged from classical, traditional style country Mexican, to hybrid fusion and children's tales told through music...a truly eclectic mix.


En Chapala se ha contado con la presencia del Dueto Los Centenarios, el arpista y violinista Pancho Gómez, Jesús Guzmán y su grupo Santa Lucía, el salterista Daniel Torres, el grupo Luna Sureste, La Orquesta Típica de Chapala, Ensamble Latino, Arpa de Chapala, Luis Ku, el arpista Gaudencio Martínez; el arpista Roberto Díaz Montes, Saúl Gutiérrez, los arpistas de Cancún, Julio González y Julio González Jr. La Orquesta Típica Medrano de Toluca, Edo. De México, Jesús Barajas Oseguera, del Mariachi Tradicional El Carrizo.

One of Dueto Los Centenarios (one of our favs)

Trio from Mariachi Tequileno de Pancho Gomez
They were stellar and based in classical mariachi style.

Faux Tequila Brad (ironic since Brad doesn't drink alcoholic drinks)

Mas Arpas!

SuperAdobe in San Juan Cosala
New San Juan Cosala Church

San Juan Brad

Our friend Karuna also wanted to know what we knew about Super Adobe, since she had signed up for a workshop in Veracruz at the end of the month and had a project in mind in a nearby town where Super Adobe might be a good fit.  Luckily, Brad and I have been aficionados of Super Adobe ever since we met Nader Khalili at Cal Earth in Hesperia, CA.  I've taught his theory and technique in my sustainable design courses...and Karuna thought we might be able to help with the local Super Adobe project.

We had heard that in 2009 a Super Adobe structure had been built in San Juan Cosala, so we loaded up the family van and headed west to San Juan.  The Super Adobe structure had been constructed on the site of a local orphanage, Ninos y Jovenes.

Super Adobe at Ninos y Jovenes
Brad inspecting the structure

Super Adobe Interior - Unfinished interior and dome vent

Barrel Window

The structure had been constructed in 2009, but since then all the people who had helped create the project were gone. But a caretaker at Ninos y Jovenes told us that the structure had been used as a storage facility and then abandoned.

It's technique was rustic, and the structure apparently unfinished.  It still was good to see and inspect the building, which measures approximately 10 feet in diameter at its base and 13 feet high at the top vent.

While wandering around town buying fresh local produce, we happened upon the old church of San Juan Cosala, which BTW I liked even more than the present day one.

Old San Juan Cosala Church

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