Another day and adventure begins at 9 Loma de Guadalupe.
Location, location, location… Casa Serena Vista nestled on
a hill, dates back to the 1750’s. From up here, between 1783
and 1803, one could watch the new Bishop Reyes Cathedral,
now known as Parroquiade La Purísima Concepción, being
built. Today, the classically proportioned cathedral’s
three tiered belfry stands out against the eastern
backdrop of Sierra Madre foothills stepping back in time
and distance and growing into mountains.
9 Loma de Guadalupe, which may be as many as 100 steps
up Guadalupe Hill from Church level in the central Plaza
de los Armas, is a wonderful place to listen and watch
sun and shadows turn from dawn to dusk and into colorful
lights, stars and smells of night.
Burros have been beasts of burden for centuries in Álamos.
It is another afternoon of blue skies and mountain views in Álamos,
Sonora, México. The burro sculpture is one of many metal artworks
by Museo Costumbrista de Sonora director, artist and art gallery
manager Jesus Antonio Estrada Canúa, better known as Tony
Estrada, that stand in several Álamos Sonora, Mexico homes.
Tony plays a major role in art education in Álamos.
Where art and water meet as fish swim and burro drinks.
Two Casa Serena Vista’s walls are murals that merge with the physical
surroundings including two water features. Local artist Austreberto
Villareal Torres, art teacher and musician created the inspirational
Cuchujaqui River terrace mural.
Casa Serena Vista teams amazing location with quality staff.
There is a sense of purpose as the Casa Serena Vista’s team/family
goes about their diverse roles in a multi-tasking environment. Pictured
above clockwise from upper left are Diane Carpenter, Luis Angel Castillo
Grajeda, Silvia Yocupicio Mendoza, Eloise Espinoza Lopez, Ambrosio
Grajeda Aquilar, Ramona Idalio Valenzuela Sánchez, the cat, and
Rigoberto Grajeda Grajeda. One for all and all for one. The bed and
breakfast side of Casa Serena Vista manage their guests’ requests
with consideration, knowledgeable confidence and relaxing gusto.
Ambrosio and Idalio portraits courtesy of Luis Angel.
The team at work in the main office-library.
The library is abuzz with activities that run from the day to day
management of the bed and breakfast – conference center and a
range of projects initiated by Diane Carpenter, owner and visionary.
At this time, Luis was off-loading videos, stills and audio
recordings from Anders’ memory cards to the office hard-drive
while color correcting a photo that was going into a
presentation by Diane on the treatment of indigenous
people around the world.
Luis Angel, who manages computers for school systems as his
”day job”, was proud to show Anders Casa Serena Vistas’ collection
of audio-visual equipment that is used for board meetings, workshops,
conferences, reunions, parties, and other special event support.
Luis proved to be one of many capable, thoughtful and energized
young people in Álamos who will help México move forward.
A scene that one sees from the dining table when they look west.
The sounds of water and a cricket adds to the allure of this back
patio mural by local artist Katherine Callingham. Her background in
medical-legal-botanical illustration can be enjoyed on this wall.
She also has a mural inside of Reyna’s restaurant as well as art
displayed throughout Álamos.
It is another good morning in Álamos, Sonora, México.
Birds singing, burros braying, roosters crowing, dogs barking,
fresh tortilla truck honking, car radios across pavement, bicycles over
cobblestone, TVs from open doorways, street sweeping, people walking
and talking are all part of the grand Álamos morning overture that
lasts for hours. At Casa Serena Vista the day unfolds as
a simple but detailed tapestry of multi-cultures and biological habitats.
During Anders’ stay in Álamos two guests at different times were
from Sweden, a man from Connecticut spent a week with his girlfriend
who was attending a friend’s wedding, and a young couple visited
with two daughters. Late one night an elderly couple arrived
that had difficulties with stairs and the gracious professional staff
quickly found them lodging in Álamos.
Inside the walls of Serena Vista’s are alive with color and sound.
From Casa Serena Vista’s facebook page …
“The facility includes a large sala suitable for entertaining,
library, screened gazebo, landscaped terrace with dance floor, a
large pool and a smaller heated pool, a roof garden with expansive
views and comfortable patios and terrace. Meals and special
event services are available. Handicap access from the parking
area is excellent and the casa has two handicap baths. Three
suites with baths are available; two have kitchenettes, the third
suite has microwave and fridge. Guests can barbecue and can use
the main kitchen when needed. A fourth suite can be made available
for larger groups. Tech assistant and secretary on staff and office
equipment are available for guest use.”
Like much of Álamos everywhere there is something to see.
Casa Serena Vista is its own art eclectic gallery for the entertainment
and enlightenment of staff, residents, visitors and guests.
To learn more about Diane visit A Life/Full Circle from
Amazing Women of Álamos, Sonora, México.
Food is cause for conversation and celebration.
In the months that preceded Anders’ arrival for the 2017 Álamos
Sonic Expedition Diane Carpenter championed his efforts.
She assured Anders that she would help as much as possible and
offered a car and driver for street videos and computer support
from Luis Angel. She was certain their computer capabilities
would be a match for any of Anders’ needs and they were.
A villa with a view and a staff to serve you.
During the ten days Anders was in Álamos Casa Serena Vista
became a way station between Toluca 6 and any journey
to the east. Anders had several breakfasts at Casa Serena Vista
when he finished his morning shoots or was dropping off data
cards to be downloaded to Casa Serena Vista’s computer.
Videos and photos were also offloaded from Anders’ previous
Álamos media expeditions, beginning in 1983, for the Álamos
History Association to have access to as well as the Museo
Costumbrista de Sonora. Casa Serena Vista played a critical
nurturing role in the success of the 2017 Álamos Sonic Expedition.
Everyday is history.
Anders spent his last night in Álamos at Casa Serena Vista and
took advantage of a large table to repack his camera and audio
recording equipment for the road home to San Diego. Anders
found Casa Serena Vista to be a kindred spirit. He mentioned
to Diane that he felt he was amongst the best of what the
idealism of the late 60’s – early 70’s had/has to offer the
world and she acknowledged with a nod and a smile. At the moment
she had guests’ needs to fulfill, meetings to attend, events
to organize,and presentations to be fine tuned as she went about her
purpose creating a relaxed utopia in a magical landscape:
Casa Serena Vista and Álamos, Sonora, México.
Breathe deep. Exhale. Breathe.
A rose is a rose is a rose.
©2017 Anders Tomlinson, all rights reserved.