by Sofie Engström von Alten
Every Wednesday, the kind and giving people of San Miguel de Allende gather at the Parroquia in el Centro to cook and feed the hungry elders of San Miguel and its surroundings. They have been doing so for 23 years. Many hungry people travel from miles away, some by foot, and this is their reward for it all.
To do an illustrated report, I snuck in with pen in hand ready to sketch.
A man gave a short, enthusiastic sermon on the stage. It ended in cheers. Bowls of salad stacked one on top of the other quivered. A heavy woman deftly scooped ladle after steaming ladle of soup into bowls, and the procession of meals began. Gringos flocked here and there, excitedly loading their trays, telling each other which way to walk, and trotting back to the line once they'd delivered their loot. Marching at a quick, efficient clip, almost all the volunteers followed the orders of Peggy, the organizer, who was running back and forth, trying to juggle ten tasks at once. The hungry "Others" waited patiently, abuelitas whispered softly to one another. The eldest, of course, were served first. The room fell mostly silent as the hungry people dug in, until live music began to play on stage! Then the main course was served, followed by cookies and fruits -- a meal fit for kings. Everyone was smiling, talking, and stuffed to the brim by the end.
Sofie Engström von Alten is an illustrator and artist originally from California. She came here to San Miguel to feel the magic crystals under the earth and to continue her artistic practices. She is also learning Spanish.
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