Todos Santos Art Festival 2010

January 13, 2010 by  
Filed under Activities, Blog

Thirteenth 13th Annual XIII Todos Santos Arts Festival – January 30, 2010 to February 6, 2010

Art Festival Todos Santos

Indisputably the festival of Todos Santos that captures the imagination of the most locals and tourists alike in Todos Santos has taken place each year since 1997 at the end of January or early February. It is then Todos Santos hosts its art festival. This year, in 2010, the festival starts Saturday January 30 and ends on the following Saturday, February 6th, 2010.

Workshops and education such as teaching latin music and folk dancing is offered along side displays by regional artists and performances, recitals and readings by musicians, writers and filmmakers in several venues all a short stroll from the central plaza.

While the crowd continues to grow each year and is not representative of the small artist escape, it’s a great time to get to know Todos Santos. While not the primary draw, there’s also a chance to purchase furniture, weavings, pottery, delicacies of the gastronomical delicacies, including local libations made from age old recipes. It’s also an opportunity for local non-profits to raise attention to their causes, such as turtle conservation, the fragile dunes of Todos,and presumably the prospect of a local gold mine that has many citizens concerned.

If you are thinking of visiting Todos Santos during the art festival, you should secure your accommodations early this is high season. It can sometimes be difficult to find availability. There’s still an opportunity to rent a luxuriously furnished villa at


The festival will feature two permanent exhibitions throughout the week, the Fourth Biennial art exhibition by denizen paintings by Carlos Olachea Painting and a photo exhibit of Giants of the Bay of La Paz, the whale shark, both at the Cultural Center of Professor Néstor Martínez Agúndez from 10am to 6pm each day.

Each day there will also be an exhibition and sale of local craftsmanship near the Hotel California, in front of the Nuestra Señora del Pilar Church.

Our favorite, the Grupo Tortuguero de Todos Santos will present an exhibition on the protection and conservation of sea turtles, on Saturday January 30, at 10am in the public square in front of the Church. The program will continue with a book fair in front of the theatre Manuel Marquez Leon, which will remain open until 6 pm. Both activities will continue until Sunday 31.

At 1pm on Saturday , January 30, watch Ballet Folklorico by the Municipal Department of Culture of La Paz. The dancers will perform a show in the public square.

The official opening of the Festival will be held at 8pm, with the presence of various authorities and the organizing committee until they hand off the festivities to the live band Cantares del Valle from Colombia.

On Sunday, January 31 in the public square, from 12:30 pm, the University of Baja California Sur will present a musical program along side their Polynesian Dance Group, followed by Bios chamber music, ending at 8pm, with the group of Latin American music, Sac-Be.

The festival will continue on Monda, february 1, at 10 am, with the presentation of the documentary film and, at noon, the Folkloric Ballet will perform several pieces in the public square, along with a music and dance performed by differentlocals, ending at 8pm with the participation of the theater group at the Cultural Center.

On Tuesday February 2, at 9 am, there will be a children’s performance, by the kindergarten of Todos Santos and Pescadero, at the Los Pinos Park amphitheater. This continues with the screening of the film Transamerica en la Sala at 10 am. At night, the academy willinterpret a Polynesian dance performance in the public square.

On Wednesday, February 3, at 9:30 pm, the theater group will perform the work “The Call of the Sierra” in the Cultural Center. The international film series will continue at 10 am, with “The Zookeeper.” At 5 pm, the Association of Writers in Baja California Sur will meet in the Cultural Center. The day ends with a classical guitar recital performed by the soloists Mario Charles, William and Jesús Avilés Gallo, in front of the church.

On February 2 and 3, a workshop will be offered to promote reading at the secondary level, at the Cultural Center from 4-5pm, which will be taught by Edna Aponte. At the same time and place is a painting workshop for children in fifth and sixth grade by Ramón Castillo Domínguez.

From February 2 to 5th workshops on pre-Hispanic traditions will be offered under the instruction of Veronica Carlos Martinez, in which students in the group Meliton Albáñez School will be trained in the development of musical instruments and costumes as well as the implementation of pre-Hispanic dances.

On Thursday, February 4th, there’s a screening of the British film Wonder Boys, at 10 am, leading to an 11:30 conversation with writer Ali Victor Torres. The theater group will perform an award winning play at 8pm at the Cultural Center.

The International Film cycle continues on Friday, February 5, at 10 am, with screenings of the film “Illuminated Spanish” . At 6pm, the book “The Life and Work of Fernando Jordan Juarez” written by José Luis Aguayo, again, at the Cultural Center  will be presented with a commentary by Leonardo Reyes Silva and Ruben Rivera. At 7pm, in the public square, a music and dance group, Ometeotl,will perform a dance that is a pre-hispanic ritual with the participation rate of children in the community, concluding at 8pm with a Limanya percussion performance with the show by a group African music and dance combined with circus disciplines.

On Saturday, February 6, at 7pm, the Zodiac troupe will perform two works in the public square, the Red Petticoat and Consultation. A half an hour later a sample taste of Todos Santos cuisine.

The official closing will take place at 8 pm in the Public Square, featuring dance and the folk music of the Colombian group Solomon Valley, highlighting the group’s involvement of Sinaloa.

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Hotel California, Tequila, Todos Santos and the Eagles

December 31, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog, Press

The Hotel California in Todos Santos, Baja California Sur, captures an image that everyone wants to, well, own. Writing credits for the song are shared by the group’s three main songwriters: Don HenleyGlenn Frey and Don Felder. On the original album it states “copyright in dispute”. The Copyright Office has verified that a compulsory license was used and there is underlying music, which means that the song cannot be played on jukeboxes, in marching bands, in karaoke, or in stage productions. The amount of underlying music used and original source remain a mystery of rock with great speculation. For years people have debated whether the Hotel California in Todos Santos is one in the same as the song. In 1997 Don Henley sent Joe Cummings, a travel writer in Todos Santos, a fax in which he stated “unequivocally that neither [he] nor any of the other band members have had any sort of association — business or pleasure — with that establishment.” A copy of the fax is below.

The nexus between Todos Santos, the Hotel California, Tequila Sunrise and the Eagles seems to have just been preserved for history, however, as the Hotel California has been granted a US trademark for the right to use the mark “The Hotel California” on a private label tequila (currently being offered as “rare” on eBay for $150). The tequila has been described as “a hand crafted premium reposado tequila with time honored traditions.” The owners have secured a piece of the secret recipe and by attaching it to a hotel and tequila from Mexico will ensure the mystery (and speculation of association with Satanism or a Psychiatric ward) will live on (incidentally, disproven here by Snopes All too complicated for me! I think I’ll have another Tequila Sunrise — Hotel California Style! They admittedly have built a pretty cool website at or Here’s the image from the trademark application. The link to the complete application is here.

Here’s a video that makes me want to take a shot now, even though it’s well before noon.

Hotel California Trademark

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Catherine Wall, Todos Santos Artist

November 26, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog

The following  is an article on one of Todos Santos many local artists, reprinted with permission from To set the tone for the article, here’s a picture of one of Catherine’s works that I thought captured the spirit of the area. It’s entitled “Fields of Pescadero.” -jim

Fields in Pescadero

Fields in Pescadero

By The Underground Milkmaid

Catherine Wall's Passion is Apparent

Catherine Wall's Passion is Apparent

When Catherine Wall was contemplating her retirement, after years of practicing clinical psychology, she decided to explore Baja California. She had a dream of being able to spend more time doing her art, once her four children were grown. While investigating the Cabo area, she stumbled on Todos Santos. Although Catherine wasn’t convinced Todos Santos looked like a fun place to settle alone, she never forgot it, and decided to return to rent a beach casita to try it for 6 weeks.

She walked by a small house on the main drag, and right there decided to take it and open her own art gallery. That was 11 years ago. That house is currently the popular Cafelix. Catherine has since built a fabulous art studio/gallery behind her home a few blocks away, where he shows her work to her many loyal as well as new collectors.

Self described as a cross between Grandma Moses and the Impressionists, Catherine’s subjects have ranged from Mexican women in traditional attire, plants and flowers, saints, and scenes. She recently completed a work depicting a mass that the local Padre held at Punto Lobos. When asked if there was anything she hasn’t painted yet, but would like to…her answer was chickens and roosters.

Catherine’s wit and self-deprecating sense of humor endear her to everyone who meets her. I asked her if she would like to share a bit of wisdom with our readers, and after a moment, shared two gems….”Freud said it isn’t enough to leave Egypt…you have to make the journey to the Promised Land.” And “ Your heart is where your treasure is.” We look forward to seeing those chickens and roosters someday, painted by one of Todos Santos’s own treasures, Catherine Wall.

Visit Catherine in her Todos Santos Galeria Wall: Hidalgo & Rangel

Email: [email protected]

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November 22, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog, Press

The citizens of Baja California Sur oppose the open pit gold mine know as Paredones Amarillas located in the Municipality of La Paz. This blog is dedicated to providing information about the dangers this project will pose to our community. We are prompted to act by the continuing efforts of parent company Vista Gold in their ongoing public relations initiative to convince the Mexican Government that the open pit Gold Mine known as Paradones Amarillas is environmentally benign, and that it is socially and economically desirable for them to allow an open pit gold mine in the midst of the pristine Sierra de la Laguna biosphere.

Water vs. 3700 tons of Arsenic

Sierra de la Laguna Gold Mine

The Impact of Arsenic

Left: The hands and feet of arsenic poisoning
Clean Water is more precious than gold!

Vista Gold mining company is proposing to excavate a large open pit gold mine in the Paradones Amarillas area of the Sierra de la Laguna Biosphere. The mining site is located west of El Triunfo in the sierra above the Carrizal agricultural zone.

While there are many reasons to oppose this mining project, the most important is the risk of arsenic contamination in our aquifers. The mine will take out 37 tons of gold, but also bring to the surface 3700 tons of arsenic. With every hurricane or heavy rain this exposed arsenic will leach into the aquifers for generations.

These are some of the other impacts we are concerned with:

– Pollution of underground water supplies, derived from the infiltration of chemicals used during the gold production process, mainly lead, arsenic and cyanide. This type of pollution is always dangerous, and it is even more so in a region like this one, where water is so scarce.

– The impacts that this pollution would have on productive activities throughout the region, including agriculture, livestock and tourism.

– The impacts of mining activity on the Sierra de la Laguna Biosphere Reserve, one of the most important ecosystems in the state and in the whole country. It is troubling to see how close the proposed mine is to the core area of the Reserve.

– Social impacts normally associated with gold mining on all the towns and communities located within the project’s influence area, including the cities of La Paz and Todos Santos.

– The lack of a comprehensive closure plan and insufficient financial means to guarantee full closure and post-closure care.


For more information about the dangers of Open Pit Gold Mining please see a month long series of articles about gold mining that was published by the New York times here. Also see a series of articles and web sites you can visit for more information on open pit gold mines.

We oppose the mine. Please visit for more information as to how you can get involved.

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Welcome to the website for CalyCanto, offering Todos Santos vacation rentals and information about the area. We operate a boutique community, currently consisting of 3 casitas in Todos Santos, each with ocean views, about 2.5 miles from the town center, on the way La Pastura, a world class surf break. We at CalyCanto are passionate about eco-friendly travel that provides us with succulent surfing, pristine beach combing, intimate restaurants, exotic bird watching, super special sunsets, horseback riding on the beach, local tours and activities that support the local community. We believe in causing the least harm (approaching zero) while doing business. Environmentalism, sustainability and a commitment to protecting the natural environment through activism are part of our mission as we work to continually reduce our carbon footprint. We hope you'll follow our adventure here, on Twitter and on Facebook while you enjoy your coffee (or tea) or drink a Pacifico (if you've already made it here). If the tequila gets passed around the table too much, gringos might try and spell CalyCanto like calicanto, calecanto, or cal y canto. However you spell it, you are always welcome at Calycanto Casitas. Thank you for visiting.