Craft market goes to citizen consultation
By Antonio De Jesús Aguado
Atotonilco will be a more attractive site for tourists when it has an ecologic park on the Laja River, a craft market and better facades. The market project would include citizens’ consultation.
Ten representatives from more than 300 vendors of Atotonilco, member of three associations (Asociación de Artesanos de Atotonilco A.C., Comerciantes de San Miguel de Allende and the Asociación Ignacio Allende), met with Fernando Olivera Rocha, secretary of the State Touristic Development Department, to present a project for the urban improvement of the area, which will reactivate the economy through tourism.
The project was presented by architect José Emilio Lara Sandoval, assistant manager of the World Heritage Department of the local administration. The project consists of placement of urban equipment, such as benches and lamps, construction of an ecologic park on the banks of the Laja river, improvement of the building facades, recovery of the stream and construction of the craft market, as well as a school of arts and trades.
According to Lara Sandoval, for the construction of the building, local material would be used and residents of nearby areas would be hired to perform the work. Olivera Rocha offered the vendors the support of the state government and said that this administration will improve Atotonilco because it is a “jewel” of the state and also because it “has the Sistine Chapel of America.”
In the interview, Olivera Rocha assured that the project has been presented. The second phase consists of finding the right place for building the market. He said the local administration first made the commitment to prepare the executive project. The improving of the Atotonilco area would cost 30 million pesos.It would be financed by the local, state and federal governments and it would be ready in two years.
Olivera Rocha made it clear that because Atotonilco is a World Heritage Zone, the government will work with INAH (National Institute of Anthropology and History) to maintain correctness, as well as with the SEMARNAT (Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources) for the project in the Laja. Once the plan is ready, it can be sent to citizens’ consultation to make the necessary changes, he said.
During the meeting, one of the artisans said, “We want Atotonilco to be more than a religious place; we want it to be a touristic destination that can improve the economic development of our society.”