by David Simmonds
Most Mexico travelers know about the better-known colonial towns of Mexico, many, but not all, built with silver-mining riches from the 16th to 18th centuries. Typically Spanish in style, some of the most popular are San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Taxco, Oaxaca, Puebla, Merida and Morelia. European architecture, religion and social systems were imported, while, unfortunately, much of the indigenous culture was literally buried and destroyed.
Never-the-less, the magnificient well-preserved old towns provide a culturally rich history to the country that attracts visitors from around the world. What is less known are the thousands of historic towns that are not so well-known. These are the places that you would only find if you were driving around the country, veering off the toll-roads, or riding the second-class buses that go practically everywhere. This is the Mexico that so intrigued me on my first visits, and the Mexico that keeps me forever returning and searching for more.
Richard and Rosiland Perry have been exploring the back roads of Mexico since 1966 (beating me by 4 years) and have fashioned a life focused on cataloging their travels and discoveries. They have published several books quite unique from the standard guides, most notably two that I own, “Mexico’s Fortress Monasteries“, and “Blue Lakes and Silver Cities“, filled with line drawings by Richard depicting the architecture and people they encounter. I have searched, and there are no other books like this in publication. There are literally thousands of towns that were founded hundreds of years ago, cobble-stoned, built around maginificient churches that still anchor every town center. The Perrys have published several books that tell the story of many of these places. Learn more about these essential and valuable resources here http://www.colonial-mexico.com/index.html. You can also sign up for their email list and they will announce whenever they feature a new location on their web site.