The latter-day renown of Yerbabuena is the labor of love of its longtime resident and official municipal historian, Father Vidal Salcedo R.:
Yerbabuena, idyllic and enchanted little nook, You stand apart from Mascota, the noble and lordly. Whoever ventures to thee and pauses at your door, You beckon through love, both given and received.
That sentiment, in Spanish, heads the pamphlet that Salcedo offers visitors who arrive at his Quinta Santa María mini-museo (mini-museum) not far from the town plaza.
To get there, bear east at the street (16 de Septiembre) past the east side of the plaza, and continue a couple of blocks until you see a big mill wheel beneath a small forest of spreading tropical trees. Open daylight hours, this informal museum has free admission.
If Salcedo is out, someone else—perhaps his nephew, Hector—will offer to guide you around the flowery grounds, which bloom with the fruits of Salcedo’s eclectic, unconventional tastes. Ornaments vary, from pious marble images to rusting antique farm implements.
The grounds are scattered with small one-room buildings displaying Salcedo’s painstakingly gathered collections. Highlights include indigenous archaeological artifacts, working models of an ore mill and cane crusher, an ancient typewriter, religious banners and devotional objects, a fascinating coin and bill collection, and a metal step-ramp once used with Mascota ’s first passenger planes that now leads to an upstairs garden gazebo.