Visited Dec. 28, 2018
We are a group who have been visiting San Miguel for the month. This was a fantastic afternoon, a great tour and we all enjoyed it. We had a tortilla-making demonstration , watched them make fresh salsa, agua fresca, and then were fortunate enough to sit down and feast on tamales, chile rellenos, rice, beans, avocado, and later dessert with sweet potato. We visited their local tienda where the women sell their rug hooked works. It was a beautiful village to visit and speak with the people, listen to the Otomi language, and support the women in this village. This was a terrific tour and we’re grateful to Charlotte for introducing us to this special tour so we could learn more about the people around San Miguel.
We went by van to the village of Agustin Gonzales, about an hour out of San Miguel. We visited a series of homes where we ate a meal prepared entirely from scratch, including soaking the corn kernels, grinding them on a metate, roasting vegetables and tortillas, making salsa and eating homemade cheese. Each house offered something different. Another house demonstrated making agua fruta and a desert made from squash. The last house was an Otomi woman who still speaks her language and taught us some words. The final stop is to their small tienda where they sell their hooked rug projects. Our guide, Donna, was wonderful too. Great tour!
An excellent opportunity to mingle with local families in the countryside, learn about their arts and crafts, like rug hooking, and have a delicious lunch from local foods with demonstrations of how it was all prepared.
The Rancho Tour took us to the small village of Agustin Gonzales, about 20 minutes outside of San Miguel de Allende. It includes a delicious luncheon prepared by the women of the village so it is all homemade and, most likely, locally grown. We were shown how to grind corn on a metate (not as easy as it looks) to make fresh, really fresh, tortillas. They also demonstrated how to make fresh salsa by roasting peppers, tomatoes and spices on a comal. Lunch was served in the courtyard of a private house and included chile rellano, arroz, fresh guacamole, tamales, fresh queso de vaca, salsa and papas fritas. We then enjoyed a sweet potato dessert and aqua fresca de mango, while a group of children sang the Mexican national anthem in the local language Otomi. We visited a stone carver’s home and Las Rancheritas, a rug-hooker cooperative and faced the difficult choice of what to buy to bring home. And then the piece de résistance, a language lesson in Otomi from the charming Dona Marie. It was a delightful half day excursion that I would do again in a heartbeat!
The Rancho Tour is an excursion into Central Mexico’s rural roots and takes you to the small village of Agustin Gonzales. The village is located just 20 minutes from San Miguel on the road to Cañada de La Virgen to local Otomi pyramid. The Otomi descendants of that pyramid live in the village. The tour includes the following activities plus a luncheon prepared from home made and grown food. The tour gives you an insider’s view of village life by visiting three different homes to meet the families and enjoy a homemade meal.We learn how to grind corn on a metate to make the cornmeal and cook fresh tortillas. We also get a lesson in making fresh salsa using a comal to toast the peppers and spices then grind it with a molcajete, a traditional Nahuatl mortar and pestle. We had a sumptuous meal of chile rellano, frijoles, arroz, fresh guacamole, tamales, fresh queso de vaca, and papas fritas. We also had a sweet potato dessert and aqua fresca de mango. Next we visited Las Rancheritas, Mexico’s only Rug Hookers Coop where they sold their goods. We visited a stone carver’s home and could chip away at the local sandstone. We ended the day visiting with Dona Marie and 85 year old village woman with the attitude of a twenty year old. She taught us words from the ancient pre columbian language Otomi. This language most likely was one of the languages spoken in Teotihuacan and pre-dates the arrival of the Nahuatl speakers in the area. A wonderful day in the countryside!
This is a great way to spend an afternoon. Take the kids and experience life in an authentic Mexican village. See the crafts they make and sell, get an authentic taste of REAL Mexican food…all prepared by local women. Learn some Otomi…the language of the ancient Aztecs…and just have fun getting to know some of the indigenous people. The town, Augustine Gonzales, is just about 15 minutes outside of San Miguel de Allende. You can drive yourself or transportation can be furnished. I LOVED this tour!!!