On Sunday, July 12th, I attended the Fiesta de la Santa Cruz at El Charco del Ingenio, the Botanical Garden and Ecological Preservation Zone in San Miguel de Allende.
Since its beginnings in 1991, this celebration is held every year in July to commemorate the foundation of the Botanical Garden as well the rescue of this magnificent ravine – a project that not only preserves El Charco as an ecological reserve but also as a ritual space for local indigenous communities of San Miguel. The image of the Santa Cruz goes back to the wars of Conquest of the 16th century and the foundation of San Miguel de Allende. As such, Charco del Ingenio is a sacred territory for the communities of the Santa Cruz, urban as well as rural, who come to the annual festival.
The ceremony starts in the Plaza of the Four Winds and the cross is carried to the four cardinal points of the Botanical Garden where the protective shrines are located. It finishes with the installation of the cross in Parque Landeta where the fiesta continues all day with ritual dances, music and more.