Putting Guadalupe on the Map

When you want to visit a place – part of the world-class, tourist-destination, old Mexican city that is San Miguel de Allende – whose rather winding, oddly intersecting, and strangely named cobblestone streets are filled with art galleries, wall murals and mosaics, funky little restaurants, and much more, but asking directions proves difficult and even GPS doesn’t help much, you know you need a map. 

You know what kind of map I mean — the kind of clear, handy little paper map you can hold in your hands, point at with your index finger, follow like a flashlight beam in the dark, then fold up and tuck into your backpack. This is exactly the kind of map an enterprising group of women in San Miguel de Allende’s Colonia Guadalupe have recently created – to make it easier for outsiders and even local residents to better enjoy and appreciate their charming, art-filled neighborhood.

This delightful map, aptly named “San Miguel’s Guadalupe Guide for Guests and Residents:  complete street map of the charming colonia just north of Centro,” is the collective brainchild of the GGGs – the Great Guadalupe Group, a community of women who live in Guadalupe and cherish its character. The map itself was spearheaded by GGG member, artist Rhoda Draws (see my September 2023 interview with Rhoda: https://blog.bonnieleeblack.com/Rhoda-Draws/ ) and the accompanying text written by another GGG member and Guadalupe resident, author Catherine Marenghi. This guide is completely bilingual, ably translated into Spanish by Guadalupe native and Spanish instructor J. Lestath Salazar. 

As Catherine Marenghi told me, “Guadalupe is a difficult colonia to navigate, and it doesn’t help that both Google Maps and Apple Maps are riddled with errors. Our map team carefully verified our street map against the actual configuration of streets and identified points of interest that would be most relevant for visitors. I personally enjoyed sharing the rich history of our colonia in the text accompanying our map, and I thank J. Lestath Salazar for his masterful  translation.”

The GGG map team: (l-r) Suzanne Bacon, Rhoda Draws, Charmane Eastman, Catherine Marenghi, and Janet Illeni

When I spoke with Rhoda Draws recently and asked her why they’d embarked on this months-long volunteer project, she told me (characteristically tongue-in-cheek), “Well, we wanted to put Guadalupe on the map! We’re very proud of our neighborhood, and I’m very proud of this map.”

I remember clearly that when I lived in Colonia Guadalupe for two years I was often stopped on the street by visitors who asked me to point them to the neighborhood’s famous outdoor murals. I was not much help, I’m afraid. My response inevitably was, “They’re everywhere!” as I pointed in every direction. So one of the wonderful features of Catherine’s text is “A Suggested Walk,” which answers this often-asked question and shows you the sights step by step.

This weekend (March 2 and 3, from 10 am to 5 pm) Colonia Guadalupe will be hosting its annual Art Walk, where maps for this event as well as the new, hot-off-the-press GGG Guide to Guadalupe map will be available. 

For more information about the GGG map, please contact GGG member Sandy Lubin at sandylubin535@gmail.com . You can also follow the GGG Guide to Guadalupe on Facebook for updates.

8 thoughts on “Putting Guadalupe on the Map”

  1. Thank you Bonnie for always striving to point us in the right direction, be it to art , history, a good place to eat or a place in the heart. You are a big part of of SMA’S map.

  2. Get a bunch of women together who have an idea and you wait won’t long for that idea to transform into reality! I loved their photo. They put their idea on the “map” and their smiles tell their story. Such inspiration! Thank you Bonnie!

  3. Dear Bon,
    As someone with a terrible sense of direction, I think this is wonderful. What a lovely thing to do for the neighborhood.

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