Cervantino International Festival: The International Cervantes Culture Festival is the biggest and most important exposition of the arts in all of Latin America. It takes place every October and runs for three weeks. http://www.guanajuato.travel/ Cervantino/Default.aspx . Some 500,000 people converge on the town to celebrate the arts. During the three weeks there are at least 450 events to see. There are special activities for children. Every year the festival invites a different country of honor, as well as a specific Mexican state, to bring traditional and contemporary performances from that region. The attendance is very wide, drawing spectators from around the world and often tickets to performances (as well as local hotels) are booked months in advance.In recent years, the festival has become a magnet for a younger generation, more interested in the party atmosphere that accompanies the festival than in the performances themselves, and the streets are often jam-packed. I spent October of 2007 in Guanajuato, and my curiosity is permanently satisfied. The crowds are so thick, a five-minute walk takes a good half hour. Cervantes had nothing at all to do with Guanajuato, but a professor at the university admired him and the festival began with a few students getting together to discuss Don Quixote. Today, the windmill slayer and his sidekick, Sancho Panza are everywhere: statues, paintings, tee shirts, trinkets, and even an entire museum entiely devoted to Don Quixote.
Diego Rivera: The artist, Diego Rivera, was born in Guanajuato, and his home is now a museum filled with his drawings and paintings. He is one of Mexico's most famous artists. His murals grace the walls of many public buildings. In 1933 he was commissioned by the U.S. government to paint a mural in New York's Rockefeller Center. It was to be called "Man at the Crossroads," and was intended to lift the spirits of the depression-era workers. When Nelson Rockefeller, who commissioned the mural, saw it he was horrified to find a likeness of Vladimir Lenin in the painting. http://www.travelblog.org/ Photos/1217478.html . He ordered Rivera to drape the mural until it could be changed. Rivera, a practicing communist, refused. Incensed, a group of workers, smashed the wall where the mural was painted, and it was carried off in wheelbarrows. A replica of the mural is now in the Presidential Palace in Mexico City.
Frida Kahlo: I have never seen a home, a shop, a market, a restaurant, or anything else that does not bear a picture of Frida Kahlo, Rivera's wife. She lived in his home in Granajuato, and has since surpassed the world-wide fame of her husband. There are two movies about Frida, the last one starring Selma Hyatt. Her story is one of tragedy and what would be considered outrageous behavior when she lived in the early part of the 20 th century. http://www.fridakahlo.com/bio. shtml . On the 50 th anniversary of her death, an exhibit of her work toured fine museums all over the world. I have a wonderul oil painting of Frida painted by Granville portrait artist, John Earl( www.artbyearl.com .) It hangs on my wall and I admire it every day.
The Museum of the Mummies: The hills surrounding Guanajuato are full of minerals, including silver. The minerals have special qualities, which were quite apparent when workers disinterred a body in 1865. The body was almost intact, though shriveled and some say grotesque. The minerals in the soil preserve the bodies. http://studenttravel.about. com/od/colonialmexico/ss/ museum_mummies.htm . Guanajuato has very little cemetery space. Families must continue to pay "rent" for the grave of their loved one. Should the fee not be paid for five years, the corpses are dug up. Only about one percent of them are considered of "museum quality."
There are many more one-of-a-kind activities and attractions in Guanajuato, but come see them yourself.You will be astounded. If you need to know anything else, write me, mildred. firstname.lastname@example.org . I can probably answer your questions. Guanajuato is my second home.