The city of San Miguel de Allende has long been a magnet for migrants in Mexico. The influx of immigrants, many of whom are from the United States and Canada, has led to the gentrification of the historic city enter. Many of the city’s more bohemian residents have moved to its periphery, where facades and walls can be decorated more dramatically than in the city center, where there are protections for historic buildings.
The Colonia Guadalupe Arts District has become a home for many of the artistically-inclined. The walls of this neighborhood have become covered with elaborate murals. Many of them feature Mexican themes such as Huichol mythology (exemplified by the mythical Blue Deer), while some reveal the multicultural origins of San Miguel de Allende’s population with more abstract pieces.
Community-driven art projects were the driving force behind some of these murals. A project called “Muros en Blanco” (“Blank Walls”) launched in 2013 as part of “JovenES Expresión,” a local youth arts initiative. While the presence of colonial architecture in Guadalupe is not as prevalent as in the city center, the houses of this style in the neighborhood do offer a fascinating contrast to the contemporary aesthetic sensibilities and messages portrayed on their walls.