Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Santa Rosa

Happy New Year to everyone!

I thought I wanted to start this first post by introducing myself and telling you a little bit about my background, the place where I live, and what I do every day. However, I am still moved and excited about my new year celebration and I decided to share it with you before saying anything else. After all this shows a side of myself and my heritage I am very fond of.

I was born in Mexico city, but have been away for more than 5 years already. My husband Uri is not Mexican and he has not been in many parts of Mexico. The country I know and love is multicultural, colorful, charged with tradition and history... Not necessarily what you see in the little border town we live in. That is why my father invited us to spend a week with him and my mother in one of our favorite Mexican states for the New Year. Off we went to Yucatan!

My mother's family is from Yucatan. Her mother and father were born there, even some of her siblings. Even today, whenever my very large, loud and loving family meets, you can hear the Yucatecan accent and a few Mayan words here and there. My mother's nanny was a Mayan woman, Mari Pech, that both my mother and my father loved very much. Mari grew up with my grandmother Ana, and they used to talk Mayan among themselves.

My mother spent her childhood vacations in Merida, the capital city of Yucatan, and Progreso, a famous beach town nearby, but when she was 16 years old my grandfather died and my grandmother was so sad she never went back to Yucatan. Still, all the stories about Yucatan stayed with us. Tales about the great old houses in Merida, the glorious haciendas, the days of the heneken industry. That is how we got to learn about Santa Rosa.

My great grandfather Alberto bought Santa Rosa in 1900. It was then a henequen hacienda with 364 workers that lived in the 94 houses town. He built the last stage of the main structure, including the central house and the machine rooms. My grandmother was a child then. After a little more that two decades, as a result of the Mexican revolution, the government took his land to give it to the workers. Even though my great grandfather still had the main house he was devastated and decided to sell it. Eventually Hacienda Santa Rosa was abandoned.

In 1997 Santa Rosa was chosen by a private company to be restored and later on, was opened as a hotel. After all these decades we were the first in the family to go. It meant a lot to my mother and I.

This is Hacienda Santa Rosa:

Nowadays it has 11 rooms, an amazing restaurant, a spa, a botanical garden and many terraces and pools.

Here are my parents on their room's terrace with my little Adiel.

Uri and I took full advantage of the opportunity to go around and enjoy the place. We even visited other abandoned haciendas in the surroundings, having some family fun.

Adiel loved it.

We also visited some local workshops where they still work the henequen.

We all wished we could have stayed longer, but at least we were there for their New Year's party which included a presentation by the local girls' choir, a piƱata, a delicious 5 course dinner, and the traditional "burnt of the old year or the old man" (filled with fire crackers).

This is Adiel on the first day of the year.

Those were some amazing couple of days!
My mother and I could imagine my grandma running around. This is a picture of her:

I loved the little town and the people. 
I hope I can go back one day.

This was Alberto on the days of Santa Rosa.

During our vacation we also visited the beautiful ruins of Uxmal.

And Chichen Itza, the old city of Izamal and Merida. 

I am very excited about what 2011 will bring. 

There for sure will be many new adventures for the little journey sisters and I can't wait to see what they have to say about it!

Until soon, 


  1. That's wonderful Mercedes! The photos are BEAUTIFUL! What a special family trip you had.
    Is this near Riviera Maya? Todd and I went there on our honeymoon and then over to Isla Mujeres. We traveled around a bit, but didn't get to Chichen Itza like we wanted to. Next time!
    Little Adiel is getting so big. She's gorgeous. I want to squeeze her and love her up. I love her smile.
    You look wonderful as well... and I guess I should throw in that Uri looks great so he doesn't feel left out ;p
    Thanks for getting this started! Great job. I really enjoyed it. Okay, so I have to work on my first post :)

  2. ditto everything that maggie commented :)

    really amazing start! i can't believe how grown up Adiel is now. your pictures are beautiful and sounds like you guys had an amazing and very meaningful family trip.

    i will try my best to write as eloquent and thoughtful as you have :)

  3. What a wonderful trip! I loved reading this glimpse into your family's history. Beautifully written and such lovely photos of you all! You have definitely inspired me to begin my first post as well. Love to you all!

  4. Thank you mamas! I just edited the post including the pictures of my grandma and my great grandfather. My uncle sent them to me today by coincidence and I decided to share them as well!!
    Take care and read you soon!

  5. Such a beautiful place, mama! I would love Eva to see this beauty! We will visit, Yucatan has invited us! And very interesting family history you have there, thanks for sharing:)


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