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Valentine’s Carnaval de Amor: Aphrodisiac Dinner, Music of Love, and Gifts for Your Lover!

By Robin Loving Rowland, George Shagawat, and others

Don’t wait for Valentine’s Day to celebrate with friends and lovers. The season of love begins February 9 with the Carnaval de Amor, a totally unique evening of friendship and love at Hotel Matilda destined to make San Miguel history!

Valentine’s benefit dinner: Carnaval de Amor, Valentine’s Fundraising Dinner for Casa Hogar Santa Julia. Thu, Feb 9, 6-9pm. Hotel Matilda, Aldama 53. US$100 /person. 152-3709

As you enter Matilda’s love-music-filled foyer, your host for the evening, Valentin Milagro, will usher you to a living champagne chandelier, who will pour you and yours glasses of bubbly to lift your spirits.

You will then be escorted into Matilda’s private library where a contortionist will be expressing your most intimate feelings to more love music, and New York photographer George Shagawat will capture your blushes in photos for your later enjoyment.

Your escort will then lead you into Matilda’s dining room, where you will sip red and white wines and water until general manager Bruce James welcomes you with Chef Jorge Boneta’s aphrodisiac temptations.  Meanwhile, to the music of love, GravityWorks’ acrobats will enact the songs you’ve come to hold most dear to your heart.

A chocolate raffle will ensue for dessert, and your escort will take you again into the Matilda Library, where another glass of bubbly will keep your spirits high as a living dessert table offers you delectable chocolates.  Meanwhile, your number having been called at the chocolate raffle, you will select your raffle prize, browse Karen Wight’s erotic jewelry, and peruse DaNisha Sculpture’s whimsical jewelry boxes for your purchases.

When it’s time to take your love to new heights, you will be presented with a gift bag of more Valentine’s candy, a rose, and milagros de amor – miracles of love – delicate-yet-strong icons of hope that, according to Mexican belief, can bring curative powers of love and life to those who desire such!

Revel in this unique event for only US$100 per person. The actual value? US$100, not including the raffle prize of your choice.  Raffle prizes will include dinners for two at famous restaurants, hand-made clay table settings for two, sterling silver jewelry, outstanding photography, and other exquisite gifts.

And, your US$100 will all go directly to support the Santa Julia girls’ medical and educational needs, thanks to other donations such as those by Hotel Matilda!  These 30 – 40 girls have been abandoned due to ‘precarious’ family circumstances, but they are healing with the love of this community, which is more interested in their bright futures than their bleak pasts.  Therefore, your donation, whether in dollars or their peso or Canadian dollar equivalents, will be tax deductible in the US, Mexico, and/or Canada.

So, love it up!  Make your donation by check! US checks can be made payable to Friends of Santa Julia, noting Carnaval de Amor on the memo line.  Mexican checks can be made payable to Casa Hogar Santa Julia Don Bosco, A.C., noting Carnaval de Amor on the memo line.  Canadian checks can be dated February 1 or thereafter and made payable to Amistad Canada, noting SJ Ed on the memo line. Take your check to Solutions, Recreo 11 or Mesones at Relox, Box 165.

Then, mark your calendar to dress in cocktail attire February 9 and experience a once-in-a-lifetime Carnaval de Amor!  Reservations are strictly limited to 60 friends and lovers.

For more information or to make a raffle donation in exchange for publicity, contact Robin Loving Rowland, president of Friends of Santa Julia, at, 415/152-3709 in SMA, and 925-476-8117 from the US or Canada.  Also, see,,,; and

Carnaval de Amor’s sponsors

GravityWorks is a 10-member performance troupe based in San Miguel de Allende. Their shows are a fusion of traditional circus acrobatics with some newer forms of aerial dance known as the new circus arts.

Hotel Matilda is known as a masterpiece of hospitality!  Its 32 rooms and suites feature Mexican touches like indigenous rugs juxtaposed with marble floors, lush furnishings and bold pops of turquoise.  At Restaurant Matilda, classic Mexican cuisine is flavored with innovative international trends, and bursts with local, fresh, farm-to-table ingredients.

Karen Wight enjoys exposing the kinetic energy found in nature, the movement of a dancer, an acrobat or a finely tuned athlete.

DaNisha Sculpture is known by collectors around the world for its ceramic and bronze large and miniature collectibles. Dan and Nisha Ferguson have created these charming and wonderful miniature sculptures entirely in porcelain, hand painting each one. George Shagawat is an award-winning photographer who captured the essence of people, products, fashion and architecture for national campaigns headquartered in New York City, Los Angeles, and Atlanta before moving to San Miguel.  He is the official Santa Julia volunteer photographer, and serves on the board of Friends of Santa Julia.  When the girls are anxious, they ask, “Where’s Jorge?”


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