A Fantasy House | Mexico | Living in Mexico

A Fantasy House

La Cieneguita (the little swamp) is a tiny satellite community of San Miguel. A few miles west of the city, it sits among meadows, woods and hot springs, attracting those who would like to live on a little acreage.

The pueblo itself consists of a line of poor houses strung along an old road, and a humble, decaying church that appears to be abandoned. The inhabitants have no apparent means of livelihood.

On a recent Sunday drive, Jean and I encountered an interesting gate along the road to La Cieneguita.


The left door bears a toothy face and the right depicts the Virgin of Guadalupe. An arch over the gate contains an image resembling a foreshortened Jabba the Hut. A steer skull tops each gatepost.

Someone interesting lives here.

Peering through the gates, a pleasant garden of mesquites and native plants frames a view of distant farmland.


This is a peaceful, quiet place. Until you see the house.


A free spirit built this place. Rampant creativity. Style run amok. Unconstrained by convention, this is a home built solely to satisfy the whims and urges of one person. Nobody was considering "resale value" when designing it.

And a good thing, too. It's more art than house, and we spent a pleasant hour inspecting it from the outside. (No one was home, and I'm not sure we would have overcome our reluctance to disturb the occupants if they had been.)


The place is jammed with wonderful details. A wall with faces...


... a colorful fountain...


... an arabesque tower...


... and a statue of the Virgin of Guadalupe adorned with wine bottles.

I admire the person who made this. He built a little spot that hums with good vibrations. As an old, linear-thinking engineer, standing there looking, I was oddly comforted by all that creativity.

Go figure.