San Miguel is a combination of a number of carefully defined neighborhoods, each with its own character.  The Centro is commercial and the oldest residential area; Guadiana beyond the Parque Juarez and the site of the original Indian settlement, is filled with large houses and grounds as part of estates; Balcones is up the hill (as in a balcony) and has large homes as well, but most have been built in the last twenty or thirty years.

Guadalupe, named for the Virgin saint of Mexico and indeed all of Latin America, has always been working class and mixed.  Down the hill from the central Jardin and defined by a spider web of streets, a car repair garage might be in the middle of an otherwise residential block.  Small grocery stores called ‘Tiendas’ are sprinkled down every street.  It has not really undergone the uniform gentrification and restoration that other parts of the city have experienced, though some of the houses have been renovated, restored and even expanded.

The most interesting transformation in the last few years, however, has been the proliferation of wonderful wall graphics and murals, particularly in an area of Guadalupe around a small organic market and restaurant called Via Organica.  Here, for blocks around, local artists and even some invited from Mexico City have created images of fantastic mythological beings who ride or climb or crawl across entire walls.  Regardless of the surface be it stucco or stone or brick or wood, the images grow and spread, even encompassing power poles that happen to be in front of the mural.

Below is a smattering of these marvelous murals—enjoy!

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