HGTV Features Local Women’s Craft Cooperative
By Charlotte Bell
A local women’s craft cooperative, Las Rancheritas of Agustín Gonzáles, will be featured on the TV series House Hunters International (HHI). This popular show features a couple searching for a house in various parts of the world, and in November they filmed in San Miguel de Allende. Las Rancheritas was chosen as the human-interest element of the program.
The couple and camera crew visited Agustín Gonzáles to film parts of the Rancho Tour, a regular event put on by the group. They were charmed and delighted to be invited into a typical rural farming village to see how they lived. Las Rancheritas showed them how they prepare tortillas starting from a stalk of the dried corn they grew. They demonstrated all the steps, including grinding the kernels with a metate, using a presa to form the tortillas, and then placing them on the fire-heated comal.
As with the Rancho Tour, the couple was invited to try their hand at each of these tasks. There were lots of laughs from everyone, including the camera crew, as they experienced how tricky these apparently easy skills were to master. Lunch followed, and everyone was able to sample the nourishing home-grown, homemade foods. Accompanying the fresh tortillas and gorditas were goat cheese, pinto beans, nopalitos salad, and potato patties, all topped with rich, not-too-spicy salsas. Refreshments consisted of guava and watermelon waters. Las Rancheritas will be preparing the sumptuous fundraising luncheon January 21 for their founder, Mujeres en Cambio (www.mujeresencambio.org). They are fully educated in hygienic food preparation practices. Everyone proclaimed it was the best meal that had eaten in San Miguel.
After the meal they were given demonstrations in rug hooking. These multitalented women are the only rug hookers in Mexico and have been practicing the craft for 20 years. The couple, now residents of San Miguel, loved their introduction to country life and promised to return with friends to experience the full Rancho. Everyone is excited to see the airing of the show, which will occur in about six months.
Las Rancheritas invite the public to visit their village by signing up for the Rancho Tour held every Friday or by special appointment. This three-hour tour includes all of the above plus lessons in Otomi, the ancient language of the area, stone carving, and a visit to Las Rancheritas store/event center. You can even ride a burro! A preview is available at http://rughookproject.com/the-rancho-tour. Reserve a tour today by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.