“Writing From Our Depth”
The theme of Guanajuato Writing Retreat 2021 is Writing from our Depth. Each day we will focus on a different topic, explored individually and as a group. Activities and excursions will expand our discussions, offering new experiences and inspiration to bring to our writing. Program participants can download the Itinerary PDF, which includes more details.
Daily Schedule Format
6:30am-9:00am: Breakfast (make your own)
7:00am: (Optional) Self-guided yoga and meditation on the terrace
10:00am-12:00pm: Guided self-exploration workshop
12:00pm-2:00pm: Lunch break
2:00pm-4:00pm: Writing on your own
You’ll have plenty of time to ease into your days at Guanajuato Writing Retreat and take a siesta or explore the town in the afternoons. After dinner, we can share our experiences and our writing, or simply enjoy the night’s view from the terrace.
Daily Itinerary Snapshot
Sunday, Nov 14 – Arrival day.
¡Bienvenido and welcome to Guanajuato Writing Retreat 2021! Today we’ll settle in at Florecer Casitas, and enjoy dinner together in town. We will get acquainted and begin creating our sense of community for this week of inspiration, adventure and self-exploration. Thank you for coming and sharing your time and creative journey with all of us.
Monday, Nov 15 (1st full day). Topic: Beginnings and arrivals
We begin the workshop with the topic of – beginnings. Today we will explore what our prior beginnings and arrivals have meant to us. What sometimes makes us reluctant to begin something new? What has it been like when we have arrived at new stages in life? What are the new horizons to which we are being called, and what it would take for us to make a bold new beginning? Our activity for today is a tour of the Guanajuato’s historical city center, adding the perspective of a place and people shaped by arrivals and multiple beginnings.
Tuesday, Nov 16 Topic: Shifts in Perspective
It only takes a shift in perspective to perceive things differently. Sometimes, our perspective shifts without our knowledge; other times we intentionally alter the lens through which we view ourselves, our relationships, or our creative work. Today we will explore how we’ve come to shift our perceptions in the past, and what opens up for us when we do it intentionally now. Today’s excursion is local: we will watch the sun set from the statue of Él Pípila, an iconic monument in the heights of Guanajuato, overlooking the city. We will have time to write, take photos, and bring awareness to our internal shifts as we watch the light change before our eyes.
Wednesday, Nov 17 Topic: Encounters with forces greater than ourselves
Whether we are captivated by community, nature, the planets and solar system, or beliefs about forces, energies, religion or spirituality, we are impacted by our knowledge of, and encounters with, that which is beyond individual human lives. Today we will explore the ways in which we feel connected and disconnected from these sources, and how that shows up in our creative and personal lives. We take our morning exploration outdoors – with a morning hike into the hillside, where we will have time to write in an exquisite chapel-in-the-rocks. Later, we will expand our community connection by inviting several local bilingual and English-speaking writers to join us in an informal writing workshop.
Thursday, Nov 18 Topic – Nourishing ourselves
Today’s exploration is on the many ways we nourish ourselves, and the ways we sometimes don’t –going without certain things that could replenish and refuel, or giving in and getting lost to the point of distraction or numbing. Our activity for today is a cooking class, where we will learn some typical local dishes we can recreate once we’re home, followed by the nourishment of a well-prepared meal shared in good company.
Friday, Nov 19 Topic – Time
We seem to have an inescapable obsession with the passage of time, aging, mortality. We sometimes forget that time is a social construct, having been measured and conceptualized differently by different cultures in different eras. We will take an all-day excursion to Cañada de la Virgin, the closest pyramid to Guanajuato, and the Museo Astronomía Prehispánica (Museum of Prehispanic Astronomy). We will learn of the Mesoamerican lunar and solar tracking systems, at the pyramid site and in a private workshop with Dra. Rosanna Quiroz Ennis, who has spent over a decade studying the relationship of the sun, moon, planets and stars to the construction of the pyramid complex. We will enjoy a delicious home-made lunch showcasing prehispanic cooking methods and ingredients that have come into full harvest just this lunar month.
Saturday, Nov 20 (last full day) Topic: Endings and departures
This is our last full day together, and we will explore the theme of endings – those that have impacted us the most, and the ways we may constrict in the face of new endings. What is it like when we stay too long, or leave too early, and how do we become grateful for the mournings and goodbyes for all that has enriched us, so we walk through the gate to our next horizon feeling ready to begin again? Today’s activity will be a shared final dinner, after which we will host the Guanajuato Writing Retreat reading. We will invite local Guanajuato writers to the Casitas, enjoy our final evening of open-mic style readings.
Sunday, Nov 21 – departure day
This is the day we take leave of each other, and of this experience. In gratitude for all we have given to and received from each other, may our time together serve as motivation to accept and enter the creative endeavors that are beckoning you. Thank you for what you have offered into our mix. Your presence has added something indescribable to each of us.
Thank you – until we meet again! ¡Gracias por todo – hasta luego!
Photography by Bonnie Wolkenstein, Ph.D. All rights reserved.