Roofs Need to be Repaired and Maintained

39 … Workers on the roofs, a common sight for those looking down …

Workers repairing roofs, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Above a ceiling there is hopefully a working protective roof.

1770 was a hard year for Álamos, a flood wiped out the newly constructed Alameda and 6,000 people died from the plague. King Charles III of Spain responded to the disaster by sending a Surveyor General tasked with designing a new Alamos street-grid with houses that had adjoining walls to keep squatters out of Centro Álamos. The result is what exists today, Andalucian architecture built by imported maestros from Southern Spain. The mansions’ floor plans, patterned after Roman homes, were either square, U or L shaped surrounding walled courtyards. Then is now.

Worker painting roof in Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

From a distance this could easily pass as modern art.

To have a roof one needs walls. Álamos walls started with four feet of rock and rubble. On top of the “foundation” adobe bricks stacked up to reach fifteen feet high and were two to three feet in thickness. Much of the hard labor was done by Mayo Indians. The wide walls would insulate the interiors and help support the coming roof along with plaster covered columns made of stone or fired brick.

Workers on roof, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Roofs can be nice places, in good weather, to work with their views and privacy,

In an coming journal entry we will look at how roofs were made by examining ruins and restorations. Flat roofs do not work that well in Southern Sonora when heavy rains that can not be removed fast enough. It becomes a ever-present vigil to spot leaks before they cause damage to the permanent structure. It is a dance brought on by squalls and summer torrential downpours. It is also wise to watch where one is walking on old roofs, since footsteps can create new leaks. And so it is…

Buckle-up as we take a super fast car ride through Álamos on a grey winter day.

Driving across Álamos on an overcast December day starts at La Puerta Roja Inn. We head east and circle the Plaza de Las Armas before heading to the Panteon – Cemetery. We head back to La Puerta Roja exploring different routes. The best way to travel is walking.

Neighboring towns come to Álamos in the spring and celebrate their Indian Heritage.

Indian Day comes to Alamos in the Spring. Villagers from around the Álamos region come by bus to the Alameda and celebrate their native culture. Dancers, musicians and exhibits fill the business center with color, motion and music. Nacion Mayo and Nacion Popagayo are some of the regional dancers, musicians and exhibits competing in front of a panel of judges.

This is a Blessed Season for a Multitude of Reasons.

In mid-afternoon the air pressure begins to drop and a stiff wind sweeps the valley from the west, a storm is coming. Night falls and showers start. We go from the Plaza to the Alameda and back. The following day the sun comes out and then is covered by clouds. Kids play and men work gathering sand in the arroyos. An Álamos summer day can be complex in its textures and atmospheres.

An introduction to a Short History of Álamos, Sonora, Mexico.

“Here is something Special”, Spanish explorer Vasquez de Coronado noted in 1540 as he headed north, passing by tall white rocks on Alamos de Sierra. This is the opening chapter to “A Short History of Álamos” written, filmed and edited by Anders Tomlinson. Narrated by Bruce Miles. Soundtrack by SonicAtomics and Estudiantina de Álamos.

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