Photography Trip to El Oro, Estado de México
El Oro, a “pueblo magico” in the Estado de México about 2 hours’ drive from Mexico City, was once a thriving gold and silver mining town from the 17th to the early 20th Century. By 1825, most of the mines were worked by English and French companies, and the architecture of the town still shows this European influence, especially in the Municipal Palace and the Teatro de Juárez.
We first of all photographed the unusual red and white building of the Municipal Palace along with some of the elegant rooms and a large mural showing elements of the town’s mining history and the steam train which passed through it. After that, we made our way to the Teatro de Juárez, where a conference was being held. Today it seems strange to have such a beautiful art-nouveau style theatre in this small town but this was a popular place when the town was much bigger and celebrities passed through here.
Not far from there is a Crafts Centre selling craft items as well as the locally-produced herbal medicinal drink, La Chiva, which was supposedly good at calming the miners’ nerves. Now it is mainly drunk by the tourists who stop off here. We were able to get some shots of mazahua designed textiles and delicate glass ornaments in the shape of apples, among other things. A little further up the cobbled street was a dark green railway carriage which was once pulled by the steam train that puffed its way through El Oro. It has been turned into a café so we stopped for a coffee and gleaned information about El Oro’s past from some old photos framed on the walls.
A quick look around the rest of the town revealed a sculpture of a miner and the typical architecture of this European-style town. It certainly had a different feel to it from other Mexican towns.