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Lunch With Alberto

January 21, 2024

by Dr. David Fialkoff, Editor / Publisher

Yesterday, archeologist Alberto Aveleyra came to lunch. You don't have to know much about archaeology to know that Alberto is the real deal, knowledgeable and entertaining. He has three principal interests, giving tours and lectures on each: Cañada de la Virgen, the Hall of Archeology, which he created, at Casa Allende, and a walking tour of el Centro.

Lokkal's principal interest, especially with the likes of the Waldorf Astoria moving into town, is to present authentic San Miguel. Local internet, of by and for the community, is the key to keeping SMA weird. Google, with all its money and time, can never match, remotely, the collective wisdom of we the residents can do locally: Thank you Google technicians, but we don't need your pinche algoritmo; we will present our own city to the planet.

Authentic San Miguel, goes back to the time before there was a San Miguel... Allende, Grande or Viejo. Most fundamentally our authenticity includes our history, Hispanic and pre-Hispanic. That's Alberto's passion.

Alberto and I have been talking off and on for years about his active, editorial participation with Lokkal. Yesterday, we did again. He needs a better public platform for his ideas and activities (tours and lectures). Lokkal needs better grounding in the community. Ours would be a match made in heaven.

Our meeting yesterday was called for 2:00. By that time the house was largely in order: both front doors were open (there are two), Son Jarocho was playing on the stereo and I was just about to get the mop and give the kitchen floor a much-needed once over. I would have, too, except, just at that moment, with a punctuality most un-Mexican, Alberto stuck his head in the door and said hello... or was it buenas tardes? (Did I mention his melodic, theatrical voice?)

The kitchen floor could go to hell. I doubt he even noticed. I had, however, hoped to have lunch simmering on the stove before his arrival. But it was better as it was, him seated comfortably, recounting what he's been up to, looking on while I made my famous beans: sauteing the onion, adding tomatoes (to keep the frying to a minimum), garlic, ginger, shitake mushrooms, then the wet, already cooked beans, then basil, oregano, thyme, sage, salt, chile de árbol, salt, goat cheese and olive oil. The goat cheese always gets them. My fluttering around the kitchen was a small theatrical performance all in itself, a look behind the curtains.

With the chili in the pot, and rice on the boil, Alberto, never easy to keep in a seat, was on his feet excitedly (he's nothing if not enthusiastic) describing his latest, long-fought, almost-won, archeological conquest. If you knew how small my kitchen is, you would appreciate how intimate was the choreography, the pa de deux, we danced while I got the vegetables (carrot, beet, cucumber and ginger) ready for their fate in my juicer. Being in a kitchen, sharing culinary space is a talent; being in the right place, when you're needed, and keeping out of the way, when you're not.

The juice, and then the chili (with broccoli on the side), was a grand success. Our association in Lokkal is really a no-brainer, but, as especially here in Mexico, business is never just business, the way to the heart was again found through the stomach.

Yes, the great news is that Alberto is on board, agreeing to provide articles each week. My expectation is that his extensive connections in the community will draw in much content from others, as well. And, as I told him yesterday between bites (or was it while chopping the garlic?), "This is not my project. Lokkal is the community's platform."

I'm going to let Alberto tell you his own stories, starting soon. But I want to give just a glimpse of the cornerstone of his theory:

Ancient Mexican lore, shared by cultures throughout the region, speaks of Chicomoztoc, the place of seven caves. It is said, among other things, to be the birthplace of the Aztecs. Current archeological thought holds Chicomoztoc to be a purely mythical place. Alberto believes, based partly on hieroglyphs uncovered there, that Chicomoztoc is actually our very own Cañada de la Virgen, making our pyramid, and the seven canyons leading up to it, the principal site of spiritual initiation for the greater region.

May Lokkal strengthen and project the specialness of San Miguel, a uniqueness recognized around the world. May Lokkal amplify the initiatory indigenous wisdom inherent in our land.


Dr. David Fialkoff presents Lokkal, our local social network, the community online and off. Please do contribute content, or your hard-earned pesos to support Lokkal, SMA's Voice; Atención robustly reborn for the digital age.


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