Following my post from yesterday in which I expressed my desire to have this blog be a venue for others to share their story, today I am introducing my friend Kent, who lives in southern Arizona. Kent has a passion for the color, the warmth and the culture of the desert in which he lives. Here is his story.
Southern Arizona… Don’t Just Visit, Experience it’s Corazon!
Bordering Mexico on the south central tip of Arizona sits Santa Cruz County. With a population of just under fifty thousand, and with only 1,230 square miles we are Arizona’s smallest county by population and size. But if you measure us by the size of our Corazon (Heart) there is no larger than life place to experience the positive influence of a vibrant Mexican American Culture. Our history, culture, arts, cuisine and unique Sonoran Desert lifestyle should never be “just” visited….. it cries out to be experienced!
Those who pander to our border politics or focus solely on the challenges associated with cross border economies, for some unexplained reason, never seem to want to acknowledge the abundance of our cultural and visual riches. Our little corner of the world has many unique and wondrous attributes to offer those willing to experience them.
In early 2009, about twenty years in to our love affair with the Sonoran Desert, we were given the opportunity of a lifetime to purchase a magnificent, but sadly abandoned and neglected, mission style Mexican Hacienda. Located on eight private acres, high on a ridge between the upscale Tubac Art Colony, with its half million dollar “snowbird” winter getaways and the bustling cross border sister communities of Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, it struck us as a most unique setting, perfectly positioned between two very different worlds. After two years of personal sweat and love and the unbelievable help of many very talented local Mexican American craftsmen and craftswoman the Hacienda was restored to its proper Mexican Colonial Heritage and we opened the 600 square foot guest house Casita on the property as a Bed and Breakfast Retreat.
It would have been very easy to market this property to just those wanting to stay at an upscale B&B while “visiting” the Tubac Art Colony, with it’s fine galleries, shops and restaurants, but we felt a calling to take a slightly different path. We decided to focus on attracting guests who truly want to experience the “Corazon” of all of Santa Cruz County and the uniqueness of our emerging cross border art community, our diverse culture, the authentic local cuisine and the one of a kind life style found only in the Sonoran Desert. Limiting the Casita to no more than two adult guests at a time we get to become an integral partner in making sure that those who stay with us truly can experience the richness of our cross border culture, in addition to the traditional tourism draw of the Tubac Art Colony and the 25 nearby golf courses.
“Experiencing” can include joining us on a walking tour across the border to Nogales, Sonora, Mexico to view the rich public mural art and provocative border sculptures of the late Roberto Moriakis. Accompanying us to the local Mexican Mercado to purchase fresh ingredients for a personally prepared gourmet Mexican dinner on the Hacienda’s Veranda one evening during your stay.
“Experiencing” is touring the local historical Missions and discovering how the missionaries Christian influence and the Native American culture have been fused into a powerful force that influences all who choose to live in our community.
Or “experiencing” is simply allowing our guests to just take in the views of the Sonoran Desert from the Hacienda grounds, that on a clear day stretch from the Catalina Mountains on the north side of Tucson 60 miles away to the beginnings of the Sierra Madres Mountains 50 miles south, across the border in Mexico.
Too often in this fast paced culture our precious time on holiday is spent just visiting somewhere. If you ever choose to stay with us at La Casita Bed and Breakfast Retreat on the grounds of our Hacienda Rincon de la Loma in Santa Cruz County, Arizona it our sincere hope, upon returning home, you will have not only visited some place very special, but also experienced it’s Corazon.
La Casita B&B accepts booking from January through May only. For more information and booking visit us on Facebook @ http://www.facebook.com/LaCasitaBB or you can book through Airbnb.