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Mexico: San Miguel de Allende

Holy Week

March 22 - April 2, 2018

10 participants (SOLD OUT)

SAN MIGUEL: San Miguel de Allende is a paradise of visual delights with its vivid and colorful historical buildings, old churches, beautiful Baroque and Neoclassical architecture. It has a rich cultural heritage that attracts artists and visitors from all over the world. The cobblestone streets, hidden courtyards and friendly people are all part of the magic of this 500-year-old UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located at 6,200-ft elevation in the central highlands of the state of Guanajuato, about 165 miles northwest of Mexico City, it was the cradle of the Mexican Revolution in the early 1800s, to which many city monuments testify.

The workshop takes place during Semana Santa, Easter Week. The first event, and one of our personal favorites of all the events of Holy Week is Viernes de Dolores, the Friday of Sorrows. This last Friday of Lent is when the Virgin of Sorrows is honored with beautiful altars in homes and public places. We will be visiting some of the most elaborate and well known altars in San Miguel.

HACIENDA/CASA DE LAS RANAS: On Saturday we will have a special treat in store for you, heading into the countryside to visit a typical Mexican Hacienda providing a unique opportunity to make some beautiful photographs. In the afternoon we will visit the wonderful psychedelic tile artist Anado McLauchlin at his home he calls Casa de las Ranas (house of frogs) and the Chapel of Jimmy Ray, his gallery. Originally a hippy from San Francisco, Anado has lives in San Miguel for decades and is a local celebrity. There will be jewelry and other art pieced for sale for those that are interested.

The next event is Palm Sunday. Although the events of Holy Week have already been going on for some days, Holy Week officially begins on Palm Sunday. Celebration is in the air, as people remember Christ's entry into Jerusalem. People gather at the Parroquia, the main Cathedral in the Jardin (town square ) decorating the iron gate with red swaths of fabric. At dawn, vendors begin to arrive in front of all the major churches in town to sell palm fronds woven into dozens of beautiful and fantastic shapes such as hearts, fans and crucifixes. Sizes vary from tiny to enormous and they make a wonderful keepsake to take home with you.

GUANAJUATO: On Monday we head to the colorful and exciting town of Guanajuato for a two night stay. This University town is full of lovely walking streets, fine restaurants and colorfully painted houses marching up the hillsides. We will visit the traditional Mercado Hidalgo with great shopping and the Juarez Theater considered one of the finest in Mexico. At dusk we take the Funicular tram to the top of the hill for an incredible view of the city as the evening lights begin to glow illuminating the city. This makes a wonderful panorama. Of course the churches of Guanajuato will be full of flowers and Easter activities as the local people continue their celebrations.

MINERAL DE POZOS: Next we head to the laid back town of Mineral de Pozos for a one night stay and a lovely hotel. After checking in and enjoying a delicious lunch we explore the town which has some excellent galleries and a classic bar. This almost ghost town was a thriving silver mining center in the 1800’s and is full of interesting ruins. In the afternoon we head out to the old Silver Mining works to explore, photograph and experience sunset in the dessert before returning to our hotel for a lovely dinner. In the morning we will explore a different area of the Mines before returning to San Miguel for Maunday Thursday in remembrance of the last supper. Most of the churches will be celebrating masses and many people do a pilgrimage to Las Siete Casas, visiting the Seven Houses or Temples where elaborate altars are set up and the religious floats are on display.

GOOD FRIDAY PROCESSIONS: The holiest day of the year is also the most awe-inspiring and the most profound. It is the pinnacle of religious observances and the high point of Semana Santa in San Miguel. At 10 AM we head to the Jardin to witness the sentencing of Christ before Pontius Pilot. At 5 PM the finest Easter Procession in Mexico begins at the Oratorio Cathedral and proceeds through the town to the Jardin and then back. This incredible spectacle is an authentic religious experience and not a tourist attraction. The photographic opportunities are endless.

ATOTONILCO: On Saturday we will visit Santuario de Atotonilco and see its incredible decorative ceiling which is described as a small Sistine Chapel. It is about a 40 minute drive out into the countryside and a nice break from the hustle bustle of the city. A famous statue of Jesus is carried from Atotonilco to San Miguel and back during the two weeks of Semana Santa.

At noon on Easter Sunday the most light-hearted event takes place known as the Firing of the Judases. Big, brightly colored six-foot-high figures of papier maché and crepe paper are strung on ropes across Calle San Francisco on the north side of the Jardín. Although they are meant to represent the hated betrayer of Christ, Judas Iscariot, nowadays they are more comical characters and effigies of unpopular politicians and other authority figures. As many as two dozen of them will be strung on ropes across the square. Finally, with a great bang a Judas explodes, then another and another. Arms and legs go flying in every direction.

Are we going to be busy experiencing Mexican culture at an incredible time of the year? Just mildly put, it is a resounding Yes! As the event nears there may be some small alterations to this itinerary to maximize our experience and adapt to the events that are taking place.

We are looking forward to hosting you in San Miguel de Allende next March and sharing an experience of a lifetime.

Craig and Oliver.
All images © Craig Lovell

Registration (March 22 - April 2, 2018) --- SOLD OUT
All inclusive (11 hotel nights, meals, local transportation, two instructors)
Double Occupancy: $4,800
Single supplement: $800

Deposit (non-refundable):
$600 (Double Occupancy)
$800 (Single Occupancy)

Full payment due by December 1, 2017 (payable by check)

If you have any questions, please contact Oliver Klink or Craig Lovell


Oliver Klink has been photographing in 109 Countries, focusing on wildlife, culture, landscape. He has visited many festivals around the world and always find unique perspectives. He has been selected as Top 50 or Top 200 Fine art photographers by Photolucida, won the grand prize at the Rayko International Photocontest in 2014, and has received “mentioned” in the Black and White Spidar Awards for the past 8 years.

Craig Lovell is a graduate of Brooks Institute of Photography and an award-winning international travel photographer with images from more than forty countries. He brings his many years of experience photographing indigenous cultures and exotic locations to help his students learn the ins and outs of travel photography. His 30 years as a working pro brings real life experience to his teaching methods. His images have appeared in National Geographic, Geo, Conde Nast Traveler, and countless other publications. His co-published book Nepal: The Himalayan Kingdom was well received. He is the sole photographer on 12 calendars. You can view his work at The Whats New section of his website has lots of portfolios from San Miguel!

Local staff members (drivers, helpers) who enrich our stay with the most current information, special activities, and “ways in” to places you only dream about!

- Photographing Holy week with special access
- Street photography with a twist. Getting depth
- Daily review of images (emphasis on “what else can I do”)
- Brainstorming sessions (theme, story telling, portfolio, hero shots)
- Post processing and workflow (efficiency, accuracy, quality)

- 12 days of guided photoshoot
- Accommodation, meals, ground transportation
- Special permits, private photoshoots, all entrance fees
- Instruction booklet emailed before the workshop

- Not Included :
- Transportation to San Miguel de Allende. Closest airport is Leon (BJX)
- Personal expenses, alcoholic beverages
- Travel Insurance
- Tips to local staff

Double Occupancy: $4,800
Single Supplement: $800

Deposit (non-refundable):
$600 (Double Occupancy)
$800 (Single Occupancy)

Full payment due by December 1, 2017 (payable by check)

Registration: $4,800
Single Supplement: $800

Terms and Conditions

- The workshop takes place during Holy week. The streets are crowded.
- We will walk to follow the various Holy activities, such as Processions, visit to altars and more.
- We are eating freshly cooked local Mexican cuisine with lots of vegetables, soup, and local meat (not spicy).
- We are traveling on ultra-modern highways to the local unpaved roads.
- However, the photographic opportunities are incredible. It is an amazing adventure and photographic experience.

None at this time

Where: San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
When: March 22 – April 2, 2018
Who: Oliver Klink, Craig Lovell, local staffs
Closest Airport: Leon (BJX) – Shuttles or taxis available for transfer to San Miguel de Allende
Accommodations: Local hotels (single or double occupancy)
Weather: 50 – 85F. Moody Sky
Cost: $4,800 ($800 Single supplement)

Workshop details for San Miguel de Allente Holy Week


12 days of guided photoshoots and reviews
March 22 – April 2, 2018
NOTE: Itinerary might change based on spur of the moment activities

Day 1 (March 22): Arrival in San Miguel de Allende
- Flight to Leon (BJX)
- Transfer to San Miguel de Allende
- Recover from jetlag
- Group Dinner
- Pasada De La Aldea Hotel (or similar)
- Meals (D)

Day 2: Viernes de Dolores-The Friday of Sorrows
- San Miguel de Allende
- Photoshoots of beautiful altars in homes and public places
- Some altars have been decorated for over 125 years
- Night photography at Calle de Barranca
- Pasada De La Aldea Hotel (or similar)
- Meals (B, L, D) Includes fabulous local restaurants

Day 3: Anado’s Temple of Jimmy Ray
- Spend the morning photographing at a local horse ranch
- Visit tile artist Anado McLauchlin Casa de las Ranas and his gallery The Temple of Jimmy Ray. He has jewelry and artwork for sale.
- Pasada De La Aldea Hotel (or similar)
- Meals (B, L, D) Includes fabulous local restaurants

Day 4: Palm Sunday
- Procession from the Calvario Chapel at the top of Calle San Francsico
- Photoshoot of the special event of “The Donkey”
- Grand details photography of woven palm items
- Pasada De La Aldea Hotel (or similar)
- Meals (B, L, D) Includes fabulous local restaurants

Day 5 – Day 6: Guanajuato
- Van transfer to Guanjuato about a 1 hour drive from San Miguel
- Photograph the Teatro Juarez
- Special street market to celebrate Easter week
- Tour of the historical home of Diego Rivera
- Visit The Granery Museum with special historic significance
- Sunset on the ridge above the town accessible by funicular
- Hotel in the heart of downtown
- Meals (B, L, D) Includes fabulous local restaurants

Day 7: Mineral de Pozos
- Mid-morning transfer to Mineral de Pozos about a 1 ½ hour drive
- After check in and lunch we explore the town and then head out to the mines for photography and sunset
- Night photography
- Hotel Posada del Minas (or similar)
- Meals (B, L, D) Includes fabulous local restaurants

Day 8: Jueves Santo – San Miguel de Allende
- Early morning photo shoot in the mines of Mineral de Pozos
- Van transfer to San Miguel in time for lunch and hotel check in
- Remembrance of the Last Supper, Jesus' Washing of the Feet of his Disciples, and the Arrest of Christ
- Special masses and altars at the San Francisco Church
- Night photography of the pilgrimage to Las Siete Casas
- Pasada De La Aldea Hotel (or similar)
- Meals (B, L, D) Includes fabulous local restaurants

Day 9: Good Friday – San Miguel de Allende
- The first important ceremony of the day is the trial and sentencing of Christ before Pontius Pilate
- The Procession of the Holy Burial
- Night photography of the streets of Pepe Llanos, Mesones and Juárez
- Pasada De La Aldea Hotel (or similar)
- Meals (B, L, D) Includes fabulous local restaurants

Day 10; Santuario de Atotonilco
- Photograph the incredible decorative ceiling at the Santuario de Atotonilco which is compared to the Sistine Chapel in Rome
- Visit the local artisan market for shopping
- Pasada De La Aldea Hotel (or similar)
- Meals (B, L, D) Includes fabulous local restaurants

Day 11: Easter Sunday – San Miguel de Allende
- The Firing of the Judases
- Photograph brightly colored six-foot-high figures of papier maché (comical characters and effigies of unpopular figures which are exploded in the Jardin
- Final celebration of the figures being burned
- Pasada De La Aldea Hotel (or similar)
- Meals (B, L, D) Includes fabulous local restaurants

Day 12 (April 2): Transfer to Airport
- Meals (B)
- Conclusion of workshop

NOTE: San Miguel has wonderful restaurants and a lively music scene. We will stay tuned to what is available and take advantage of the many activities that take place during our trip. Expect good opportunities for evening events.
We will give instruction and review your work during the workshop. Both instructors will be available to help you with your photography.
If there is enough interest we can arrange an early morning balloon ride from Coyote Adventures Workshop participants would have to pay extra for this excursion.
As San Miguel is located at 6200 feet elevation it is not a bad idea to arrive a day early to get use to the thinner air. Acclimatization is not severe here, but you might want to take it easy for a day or two.
While the itinerary is jam packed with amazing activities you can also take some free time if you wish.
Instructor Craig Lovell has owned a home in San Miguel for 12 years and is quite familiar with what is available in the town. There is also the possibility of a trip to La Gruta or Escondido the local (very nice) hot springs if we can fit this into the schedule. You can let us know if this is a priority.
Oliver and Craig look forward to having an amazing adventure with all that wish to experience Semana Santa in the heart of Mexico.

What to Bring

Upon signing up for the workshop, you’ll receive a detailed coursebook describing what to bring, recommended camera gears, booking your flight, extra activities pre or post workshop.

Clothing: (temperature ranges from low 50F to 80F)
- Comfortable Clothes for photoshoots
- Suggest to wear black cloth on some festive days
- Knee pads (for low angle shooting)
Camera Equipment:
- DSLR (bring your camera manual), extra battery (and charger)
- Recommended Lenses:
Portraiture: 24-120mm
Action shots: 70-200mm
Night photography: 16-100mm (fast lens)
- Flash with diffusers (optional for indoor shooting)
Other Equipment (Optional):
- Small notepad (notes, observations, write down questions)

Photography Review Equipment (Recommended):
- Laptop (with power cord), memory card downloader
- Post processing software (Lightroom, Photoshop, plug-ins)
- External hard drives (backup)


This is an all-inclusive workshop (transportation, lodging, meals, local guide, photo instruction). It also includes all the entrance fees to the festivals. The workshop does not include transportation to San Miguel de Allende (start and end of the workshop).

Workshop comprises...
- 12 days on the ground in Mexico
- All meals, accommodation, private car transportation
- All entrance fees
- Special access to various festivals
- Private photoshoots
- Coursebook and orientation materials
- Small group (maximum 10 people)
- Daily reviews (including tips on post processing, file management, idea to build portfolio)
- Two instructors, Local experts

Not Included
- Flight to Leon (BJX)
- Transportation from airport to San Miguel de Allende
- Personal expenses, alcoholic beverages
- Travel Insurance
- Tips to local staff

Travel Recommendations:
- Plan on arriving in Leon (BJX) on March 22. As soon as we know your arrival time, we can pair you with other participants to transfer to San Miguel de Allende. Your return flight can be booked after twelve (noon) on April 2

Trip Cancellation & Travel Insurance Suggestions:

Here are a few recommendations but please browse around as services and prices vary.

• Travelex Travel Select (800) 228-9792
• Travel Guard or Travel Insurance Services
• Travel Insurance Services (Walnut Creek, CA) (800) 937-1387
• Atlas International Insurance (HCC Medical Insurance Services)
• TEN (Travelers Emergency Network) Emergency Evacuation Coverage
• Medjet Assist 1-800-527-7478

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