Hotel La Posada, The Old HospitalLast modified: March 29, 2015
53… On things that make humans human and Álamos Álamos…
Hotel La Posada was originally built in 1850 as a Military Hospital for Álamos by Angelina Almada. In the 1990’s it was remodeled into a hotel with swimming pool, eight bedroom suites and a dining room with 48 chairs. A young girl passes by the Hotel as she returns from school to her nearby family home. She lives in a modest barrio, her home has no arches and little ornamentation. She carries herself with grace and confidence. Our Anonymous shares a thought that I have considered many times,
“A Mexican friend told me not to be so concerned about the fact that we have so much and they so little. They don’t think of themselves poor, he explains. Priorities exist even in the rudest of houses. Television antennas poke out of one-room shacks, well-dressed, immaculately groomed youngsters make their way to school having emerged from dwellings with dirt floors and no running water. But the small swept dirt yards of these houses will be well hidden behind a riot of purple, pink and red bougainvillea and petunias in coffee can planters, and I decided it is a matter of perspective, which leads me to question my own.”
A remark I will always remember came during a morning coffee break as I was filming in Álamos. An abundantly wealthy gentleman shared that he could not tell if I was rich or poor. We both knew it was a complement.
It is common to see someone sweeping the street in front of their house. It is as if their property begins in the center of the road. This practice, the pride of home ownership spilling over onto public property, helps keep Álamos, Sonora, Mexico clean looking. In downtown Álamos official city workers also come by hand-sweeping the streets and public plazas.
The Hotel’s remodeling remained true to the original historic footprint. In the back, up against El Mirador’s steep western slope, a section of surgery and recovery rooms remains. Today is a reflection of yesterday. The pain, anguish, hope and blessings that these walls have known paints a larger vision of humanity reaching out to humanity. In a way, these rooms also hand-swept out to the center of life’s road, here was care for injured and ill.
Here is a comment that arrived from Carloyn Leigh about La Posada:
“One note that might be nice to add about La Posada is that Merv Larson rebuilt from ruined heaps of melted adobes. He was the originator of the realistic artificial rocks and other environment landscaping techniques at Tucson’s Arizona Sonora Desert Museum.
Later he had a private company and when he sold it, he put the money into La Posada. He decided to leave parts of the old building/signs intact. Merv built using the original adobe size, don’t remember the exact dimensions, but quite large. Originally he planned to add a second story to the restored structure. His landscaping was all native plants similar to the Desert Museum’s style. We own the small home across from the Dales, which was originally part of that property. The Dales and Merv were building at the same time, so there was a lot of traffic on our quiet barrio lane.”
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