Do you know what a rancho is?

Publicado por Efi Guzman en

A rancho is a small community located in the countryside of México. Depending on where you are in México, you may hear rancho, aldea (village), or comunidad (community). They essentially mean the same thing. 

I have the dicha (bliss) to live in a small rancho (small rural community) in the state of Guanajuato, México. I value the small hometown feel so much. Life is much slower and quieter. Every morning, I wake up to a symphony of birds chirping–sometimes it sounds unreal. The abundance of nature and familiarity is what warms my heart. 



My rancho has a population of fewer than 600 people. That is what the most recent census says but I believe it’s much less. Like most places in México, many houses are “solas” or not inhabited because many immigrated to the US, leaving their homes behind. We have a running joke that there are more houses than people…it might be true.



Many ranchos have their own set of traditions and customs. Two major traditions that we preserve is the fiesta of el Señor de los Milagros (Lord of Miracles) and el Señor Del Perdón (Lord of Forgiveness). They are the biggest celebrations that we commemorate yearly. 



A few other traditions celebrated are the day of the Santa Cruz (The Holy Cross) and the celebration of la Virgen de Guadalupe.



A few non-religious traditions are going to the mountain and having a picnic during Holy Week. Most people don’t work during that time and they gather with their family and friends, and have a big picnic out in the field. Another important tradition is sowing maíz (corn), frijol (beans), and (calabaza) squash. The men typically start preparing the land in May/June, so they can plan for harvest. This is a way of life that has been done for many generations. 



    One thing that sets ranchos apart from towns and cities is that most of the people are related. To me that’s a beautiful thing because you know everyone and it gives a sense of security and familiarity.

    An example that I could give you is my husband and I. My husband and I are from the same rancho and our families knew each other before we did. That gave us some relief because there was a sense of comfort already in place.

    Ranchos also are characterized by having a more simple and hands-on type of lifestyle. A lot of people still make their own tortillas, raise their own livestock, make their own food from scratch, harvest corn, etc.

    For me, living in a rancho provides a sense of belonging. I know where I came from and that’s a privilege that many people don't have. 

    I’ll continue to share more on my rancho life. 

    Stay tuned!

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    • Thank you for sharing, I loved reading this

      Veronica Castillo en

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