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bear495 Loma de Flores - A travel report by Russ
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Loma de Flores,  Mexico - flag Mexico -  Guanajuato
11601 readers

bear495's travel reports

Heartland of Mexico

  18 votes
Page: 1 2
Loma de Flores is not the most populated city in Mexico. But, its people have the hearts of lions and embody the true culture of the country. My trip to this area has been the highlight for this calendar year.

Grade 1 Class
Grade 1 Class
When one thinks of a ranch, the image that most frequently comes to mind is one of large spaces and cowboys. That is true of life in Texas. However, in Mexico, a ranch is a small group of people living together... usually in near-poverty conditions. Loma de Flores is a ranch (village) of about 1200 people. The street are dirt, with the frequent rock upon which one might bend an axle if hit wrong. Of course, there are 5 sets of topes along the main road. Life in Loma, like in most ranches, is one of labor. Many of the people work in the fields that surround thetown, or in factories in nearby cities. It is not uncommon for a person to work 12 hours per day, 6 days per week, for the equivalent of $15 USD. More than 50% of all males in the city do not live with their families. They have traveled to the United States or to Canada as undocumented (illegal) aliens. In these other countries, they earn a higher wage. By sharing a house or apartment with 6 - 10 other men, they can keep the expenses low, then send money back to their family in Mexico. With that money, the wife and her father or brother is able to buy building materials and build a house. Many times these homes are built two or three bricks per week, depending on how much money can be sent home the previous week. Regardless, I found that the people of Loma de Flores were rich beyond measure. They had a pride and sense of purpose that many in other countries, and having more money, do not possess. These people exhibit the true heritage of their country.

Favourite spots:
Grade 4 Champion Reader
Grade 4 Champion Reader
During my stay in Loma, there appeared to be two aspects of the town which were of extreme importance to most of the residents; the church and the schools. I spent all, or part, of four different days at the primary school helping in repairs and helping the teachers in their classes. Also, I was honored by being allowed to observe the local portion of the national reading and comprehension competition. There were 6 schools competing from grades 3 - 6 in both male and female grade levels. The school at Loma took first prize in three of the female categories and two of the male categories. While I was helping in the school repairs, people from the entire town came to help me paint and repair the walls and roof. They came because they saw me working and felt that they should do as much as I did. This shows me that the people have pride in themselves. While I was at the school, the younger grades were celebrating the beginning of Spring.

What's really great:
Spring Celebration
Spring Celebration
I was lucky to be in the town for Palm Sunday and to watch the celebration as the entire town marched along the streets and packed the local parish. The parade and all of the festivities were simple, yet beautiful. The Spring celebration that was put on by the younger students at the primary school was another of the marvelous aspects of this small town. The mothers had their children dressed as butterflies, lions, rabbits, flowers, and other costumes to celebrate.

Grade 4 Class
Grade 4 Class
The ranch is within 30 kilometers of both Irapuato and Salamanca. Guanajuato (city) and Cristo Rey are within 2 hours of this ranch. Two hours in another direction was the archeological site of Plazuelas. About three hours away was the valle de los siete fuegos. an area in which 7 volcanoes can be found.

However, it is easy to just mingle among the people of the ranch, to talk with them of their lives and their hopes. I found that people in an economically deprived area such as this had the same ideas for their lives that I have for mine. That makes me feel closer to them than to many of the dreamers within my own country, those who do not face reality.

Palm Sunday Parade
Palm Sunday Parade
Loam de Flores is not large enough to have restaurants, per se. However, there are soda shops and stores on almost every block throughout the town. This provides a bustling economy for many of the people.

The ranch is located in the valley of Irapuato, and is especially noted as the world's largest producer of strawberries. With weather that rarely gets below 75 degrees F, these fruits grow almost year-round. You can find strawberries for sale almost evrywhere that you go. I especially liked the berries that were frozen and dipped in chocolate.

Another item that is grown on a large scale in this area is the agave, which is used to make the pulke from which tequila is made. Some of the finest tequilas are produced nearby.

Other recommendations:
One of the negatives that I found in this town was the lack of environmental education, or perhaps the lack of concern. As in many disadvantaged areas, the water of the area is highly poluted. Sewage from the homes is piped directly into the small river that flows beside the ranch. Trash of all types is routinely thrown on the sides of the streets and all over the area. When their is no further use for an object, it is tossed at the first place that is outside the property line of the person who had the item. One day I hope to return and to have the time to speak in the classes at the school about awareness for the surroundings.

Published on Sunday June 19th, 2005

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Sun, Dec 18 2005 - 04:45 PM rating by jorgesanchez

muy bueno!

Mon, Jun 27 2005 - 07:05 AM rating by britman

Lovely read of your personal experiences in Mexico

Mon, Jun 20 2005 - 11:37 AM rating by milana

Hi Russ!!It's a very interesting report!!You showed the real life, people with their problems and hopes!It's not just a touristic report, it's something more!The pictures are very lively with real people.
You're so lucky that you were able to see the parade!Sure it was exciting!
Thanks, it was a pleasure to read it!

Mon, Jun 20 2005 - 03:06 AM rating by rangutan

Very interesting close-up experiences

Sun, Jun 19 2005 - 01:41 PM rating by jgrant8

Another very nice report. This is a different perspective. Johnnie

Sun, Jun 19 2005 - 07:09 AM rating by djcummin

What has gotten in to you? Just one great report after another. Well done! DJ

Sun, Jun 19 2005 - 04:46 AM rating by gloriajames

Hiya Russ, interesting report. How about doing a slideshow on the people of mexico??

Sun, Jun 19 2005 - 03:57 AM rating by davidx

Excellent again. I shall need to look up 'topes'. I'm interested in the Palm Sunday procession [see my report on Obidos]. Was there any hint of penitence in mexico?

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