San Miguel’s Own Camino de la Paz
By Michael Latriano
“I believe in the power and mystery of naming things. Language has the capacity to transform our cells, rearrange our learned patterns of behavior, and redirect our thinking. I believe in naming what’s right in front of us because that is often what is most invisible. I believe one person’s declaration sparks another and then another. Helen Caldicott’s naming the consequences of an escalating nuclear arms race gave rise to an anti-nuclear movement. No matter what kind of project you’re working on, giving it a concrete, specific name right from the start is a wise move. Even if the name isn’t perfect, a specific name will take your project from the abstract to concrete, from concept/idea to an actual, tangible thing.” —Eve Ensler
When you name an idea, a concept, a project, or a creative work, it becomes real. Some street names in large cities can become metonyms and stand for whole types of businesses or ways of life. “Fleet Street” in London still represents the British press and “Wall Street” in New York City stands for American finance. On that note, I present to the community of San Miguel a proposal to make a street name change in the name of peace (in San Miguel, in Mexico, in the world). On September 20, International Peace Day, at 10am, there will be a Walk for Peace (Camino Para La Paz) up the Ancha de San Antonio to the Rosewood tianguis location, where there will be a full day of “peace activities.” The Ancha de San Antonio, because of its function on International Peace Day, may be a good candidate for our Camino de la Paz. A long-term vision might include banners commemorating great peacemakers of the world, such as Gandhi, St. Anthony, Mother Teresa, St. Francis, and the Dalai Lama.
Given the power of naming described above, the objective of this initiative is to reduce violence on the street to be named, and in the city at large, as well as to increase peace and draw those tourists looking for a safe peaceful place in Mexico to visit. Other candidates for the Camino de la Paz naming include Calzada de Estación, the gateway to San Miguel from Guanajato, named for the now-inactive passenger train station. Or Salida de Celaya, named for our neighboring major industrial city.
If this proposal resonates with you, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any ideas you may have for furthering this effort.