I am about a week behind on entries – we have packed the days to exhaustion. Today, we are resting, working, recalibrating. I will separate the week into multiple posts, for our log’s comprehension. Since the pyramids at Teotihuacán, in order: Bosque de las Truchas in San Miguel Regla, talk with artist Sofia Arredondo in Condesa, install of a water harvesting system with Isla Urbana in Tlalpan, talk with urbanist and educator Elena Tudela at the School of Architecture UNAM, an additional and extended trip through Xochimilco with political scientist Tania Islas Weinstein and Jan Dutkiewicz (update on last post forthcoming), los Pinos in Chapultepec, talk with architectural writer and educator Joaquín Díez-Canedo, talk with architect Carlos Bedoya from architectural firm Productora and platform LIGA, and Museo Nacional de Antropología/Museo Jumex/Museo Soumaya. Now, we feel a better grip on focus for our remaining time.
Alberto, Leandro (a friend joining for the Hemispheric Institute), and I rented a car over the weekend to see Las Pyramides at Teotihuacán, and to stay in Real del Monte to then see a trout farm in San Miguel Regla.
Pachuca-Real del Monte is famous in Hidalgo for silver mining and the surrounding area is mountainous and forested, so local economies partly prosper from eco-tourism. Nearby San Miguel Regla holds an economical-environmental asset that we were eager to see: El Bosque de las Truchas, a trout farm that doubles as an attraction park. In the same town, there is another eco-touristic park with waterfalls (we did not enter, but peeked from above) and an odd sight of a sunken hacienda amidst a large lake.
The trout farm and park is situated on a mountain’s side, where it adapts to an existing natural stream and lake. It is treated with many tourist attractions such as boating, ziplining, eating, and historical museums. The trout farm’s system consists of cascading pools for the trouts’ early lives and a larger lake, where visitors are free to fish and cook their catch.
We walked along the perimeter of the larger trout lake, where visitors indeed fished using poles and nets, and ate at provided picnic tables and grills. We noted large pumps or filters (?) situated at the highest point of the system, at the base of where the natural stream entered the farm. We viewed the pools, which also allowed visitors to feed the growing fish.
This park was an excellent rural example of farm-to-table eating – where we watched visitors engage directly with their food on site, but the spatial demands of the farm could not be condensed any further as not to lose quality of life for these fish. Additionally, the farm is a site-specific adaptation, where the architectural technology works in harmony with the existing natural conditions. In any case, as the town’s economy also revolves around the success of the farm, it is an important case study for us to consider the lasting effects of this typology culturally and economically.
While there, we also visited their “Cueva del Conde” or “Cave of Counts”, a mined tunnel for water. There were gnomes involved, which has a part in the history of trout farming here, but I did not dive into that subject. We took a tour of the tunnel, which was pitch black and descended gradually, but no longer takes part in the farming system.
We’re considering now how these wider typologies could come to play in an urban environment, or if it should at all. Wider cultural-political issues in México are having us rethink the agency the city overtakes in disregard to other parts of the country.