SMA’s Virgins, Saints, and Unique Fiestas

By Joseph Toone

San Miguel de Allende is distinguished by its religious festivities, a mixture of an ancestral pagan past and the Catholic faith. SMA lies on the northern frontier of Mesoamerican civilization containing the regional Chichimeca tribe of nomadic hunters and gatherers. Their influence is still felt in SMA’s more unique Catholic traditions and celebrations. To learn more, the LifeLong Learning Program at the Allende Institute is offering a one-day interactive workshop called “SMA’s Fiestas Mixing Indigenous Customs into the Catholic Faith” on Thursday, March 19 (otherwise known as St. Joseph’s Day!). My workshop runs from 10am to 12pm and from 1pm to 3pm, and includes lunch and happy hour for 350 pesos or US$30. Proceeds are donated to local charities.

I experienced a prolonged Catholic education, including graduate school in adult learning. I then started, and 20 years later sold, an international technical writing and training company while raising three children and writing two books on Southern folklore. For more information visit and


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