A stroll along streets near the historic town plaza reveals hundred-year-old homes made of brick and some adobe, many of them now owned by outsiders and carefully restored in an array of pastel colors. Oversized windows and doors framed by decorative pilasters (rectangular supports that look like flat columns) are a signature design, borrowed from the classic revival style of architecture.
The present-day Café Santa Fé on Calle Centenario, facing the plaza, is one of the largest adobe structures left standing in town. The facades on the surrounding streets are likely to look more homogenous in coming years, as a uniform appearance is one of the contingencies of funding made available through the Pueblo Mágico program.
Check El Calendario (www.elcalendariotodossantos.com) for the timing of the annual historic home tour, when owners open their doors to visitors.
Centro Cultural Profesor Nestor Agúndez Martínez
To immerse yourself in Todos Santos’s past, visit the Centro Cultural (Juárez at Obregón, 8 A.M.–5 P.M. Mon.–Fri., 9 A.M.–1 P.M. Sat.–Sun., free admission), which occupies a large brick building on Calle Juárez that once served as the town’s schoolhouse and was named for a local high school teacher who passed away in 2009.
Several exhibits inside cover the anthropology, ethnography, and history of the area, including a few examples of modern art and handicrafts. Murals in the lobby depict scenes from Baja’s history. They were painted in 1933 as a public works project during the administration of President Álvaro Obregón.
Among the highlights are arrowheads, pottery, and other artifacts as well as photos of important figures in the town’s history, local sugar mills, and silver mines at El Triunfo.
Los Pinos Park
This small park on Colegio Militar between Zaragoza and Degollado across from the Aguila Bus Terminal has become a pleasant gathering place since the addition of a large, modern play structure for kids. Buy a treat from the snack bar or a paleta from up the street and relax while the little ones climb to their heart’s content.
© Nikki Goth Itoi from Moon Baja, 9th Edition