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San Miguel de Allende, Mexico: Impact Photography with Merrill Images

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Trip Highlights & Pricing

This fun week of creativity, inspiration, learning, connection and relaxation with Lisa and a small group of kindred spirits includes a daily group experience and meal, along with opportunities to explore on your own (or with Lisa).  Highlights include: 

  • Connect with Mexicans through visits to homes, markets and galleries, and discussions with artists, entrepreneurs and guides   
  • Relish traditional and Mexican fusion cuisine at rooftop restaurants and our delightful B&B 
  • Indulge in massages, hot springs, and spa treatments   
  • Learn about San Miguel’s challenges and opportunities in the face of tourism and development 
  • Enjoy mindful photography (with any camera, including a phone) and strengthen your ability to tell compelling visual stories of the places you explore and the people you meet 
  • Stay at the exquisite Casa de la Cuesta in a quiet neighborhood close to San Miguel’s main plaza 

Pricing for this trip (Click on "Cost $" for more pricing information);

  • Single occupancy room w/private bath: $3,200 
  • Double occupancy room w/private bath: $2,900 
  • Triple occupancy room w/private bath: $2,500 

Photo Adventure Leader - Lisa Merrill of Merrill Images

Lisa creates images to evoke wonder, inspire action and strengthen communities. She and her husband John founded Merrill Images in 1996, and their work is used by travel destinations, outdoor adventure companies, and non-profits, and featured in books and magazines around the world.  The Merrills nurture photographic creativity through online coaching, Pacific Northwest photowalks, workshops and photo adventures.  They’re members of the North American Nature Photographer’s Association and a Transformative Travel Council Ally. Photography is a lifelong journey of connection and expression for Lisa, and she’s grateful for opportunities to learn from the people and places she photographs.    

About Global Family Travels

Location : Seattle, WA, USA

Global Family Travels' vision is to unite humanity and inspire travelers to take responsibility for the challenges and opportunities facing our increasingly inter-connected planet. Much more than a traditional tour operator, Global Family Travels’ mission is to provide authentic community-based “Learn, Serve and Immerse” travel experiences, as means to foster cross-cultural understanding and better global citizens.

Using tourism to help solve community challenges, we organize sustainable travel experiences in partnership with local and global non-profit organizations.  Our local Seattle Community tours and global trips often support of many United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, including education, access to clean water, conservation, gender equality, and the preservation of diverse and indigenous cultures.

Global Family Travels also offers Travel Advisor Services, to help plan custom trips for families, multi-generational travel, individual adventurers, or spiritual seekers.

Expect to Expand Your Family Circle when you embark on a Global Family Travels trip!

Visit our website for more information.

Host in San Miguel de Allende – Rebecca Eichler of Language Adventure Pros

Rebecca Eichler is a lifelong traveler who has lived, studied, and worked in nine countries on four continents.  From 2015-2016, she and her husband Paul lived the van life in a 30-year old VW Westfalia with their two kids. Their journey is chronicled in the memoir, “The Year We Ruined Our Lives: A Family Road Trip Through Mexico and Central America.” In 2018 Rebecca and her family moved to San Miguel de Allende, where she founded Language Adventure Pros, providing curated linguistic and cultural experiences for professionals, families, and adventurers of all ages. Rebecca is the subject of the feature-length documentary, “Las Abogadas: Attorneys on the Front Lines of the Migrant Crisis,” and believes that travel is the answer to world peace.  

Accommodations: Casa de la Cuesta

Stellar reviews on TripAdvisor include:  “An inspiring, art-filled oasis in the perfect location! If you want an experience rooted in tranquility, Mexican art, and no superficial flare, this is where you stay in San Miguel. Beauty surrounds you in every moment at this place. The property itself is an absolute gem with stunning views that make sipping coffee in the morning feel cinematic. Each room is a work of art. An added plus is the Mask Museum and Art Gallery which are part of this magnificent place.” 

Accommodation: Casa de la Cuesta

Enjoy a Week of Exploration and Creativity in San Miguel de Allende

Rich in history, with a sophisticated culinary scene and a vibrant arts community, San Miguel gracefully balances the old and new. It was voted the world’s best city in Conde Nast Readers’ Choice Awards for the past 3 years, and led Travel and Leisure’s list in 2021. Find out why in this article about its history and many charms. 

Join travel and social impact photographer Lisa Merrill and a small group of kindred spirits for a rejuvenating experience immersed in San Miguel’s stunning Spanish Colonial architecture and fascinating culture 

A world-renowned mecca for visual artists, San Miguel is home to workshops, studios, galleries, art schools, an artisans’ market and Fabrica La Aurora, a sprawling art and design center in a former textile factory.  It’s a foodie’s haven with more than 350 restaurants helmed by award-winning chefs, rising stars, and skilled abuelas. You’ll enjoy happy hours and delicious meals on elegant rooftops and in intimate courtyards. 

Photography instruction on this adventure is optional and informal. If you’d like to take advantage of her expertise, Lisa will offer on-the-spot guidance and encouragement. She’ll help you harness the transformative power of light, compose for impact, and intentionally make, versus take, photos.  As needed, she’ll demystify your camera’s features and settings.  Through experimentation you’ll discover new ways of seeing and photographing. 

There will be opportunities to capture majestic cityscapes and intricate architecture, create portraits of people at work and play, and dive into food and abstract photography. Image reviews will be a source of feedback, support and inspiration. Lisa will share tips to expand your visual toolbox so you can create high-impact images with a strong sense of place, and combine them into compelling visual stories.  

The photo adventure was designed to foster transformative travel, with a mix of group experiences and unstructured time to explore, reflect and relax on your own. Highlights include visits to a “mojiganga” giant puppet workshop, a street mural tour, lunch in an indigenous community, and a day trip to the abandoned silver mining town of Pozos.  Optional activities include cooking and art classes, spa treatments, horseback riding, yoga and other fitness, and a salsa dancing lesson.  

This will be a fun week of creativity, inspiration, learning, connection, and relaxation.  Non-photographers are welcome, as are artists working in any media – here are two gems painted by Lisa’s aunt Cynthia Walling: 

 

About San Miguel de Allende

Tucked high in Mexico’s central highlands, San Miguel de Allende is a picturesque small city with charming cobblestone streets, pleasant climate and spectacular sunsets. Rich in history, with a sophisticated culinary scene and a vibrant arts community, it gracefully balances the old and new. For the past 3 years, San Miguel was voted the world’s best city in the Conde Nast Readers’ Choice Awards, and it led Travel and Leisure’s list in 2021; here’s an article about its many charms.

Appreciation from Merrill Images photo adventure participants

“I had the pleasure of taking a photo tour to Cuba led by travel photographers Lisa and John Merrill, and it changed how I look at the world and think about what I am photographing.” – Sharon L 

“I had the opportunity to explore Tucson with Lisa Merrill and was impressed with all aspects of the tour. Lisa had covered all the bases for accommodations, transportation and landmarks, and researched different photo opportunities, morning and night. She made sure each of us had our fair share of her attention and guidance. It was an unequivocal success. Lisa definitely helped me up my “game” with photography which I deeply appreciate.” – Kathy H 

“Even after 43 years of photography I am still a constant learner. Thanks for the creative nudges you gave me during our UnCruise in Panama and Costa Rica.   The reminders to pay more attention to the subtleties of creating an image helped me improve my compositions.” – John W 

"On Your Own" Time

This adventure has been designed to include curated group experiences along with ample time to explore San Miguel on your own or in small groups. Rebecca will help make transportation arrangements or reservations for optional activities and non-group meals.   

Here is a list of just a few of the experiences you might choose to have during “on your own” time. You’ll receive a longer list with recommended restaurants a few weeks before our photo adventure. 

  • Mercado do Artesania handicrafts market 
  • Ignacio Ramirez food market 
  • Fabrica la Aurora - art and design center in former textile factory 
  • Art galleries 
  • Shopping for clothing, jewelry, handicrafts and home decor 
  • Massage 
  • Spa treatments 
  • Cooking class 
  • Art class (many media) 
  • Yoga or pilates class, or a workout at a fitness center 
  • Organic farm 
  • Wineries 
  • El Charco del Ingenio botanical garden 
  • Use your photo skills for good via a volunteer project at Casita Linda or another 
  • Photograph egrets build nests from the roof of Kouyin restaurant 
  • Private photowalk and/or image review with Lisa 
  • Relax on the lovely terrace of our B&B 

Safe and Flexible Travel Guaranteed

The health and safety of Global Family Travels’ travelers, community partners, colleagues and guides are of paramount importance to us. To mitigate and manage the risks associated with COVID-19, we have adopted COVID-19 Health and Safety guidelines, which were developed in collaboration with the Adventure Travel & Trade Association (ATTA) and Cleveland Clinic, as well as the Washington State’s public health policies.   You can find more detailed information on our website COVID-19 and Travel.

Global Family Travels’ customers will have peace of mind when they choose to travel with us and know that their health and safety are backed by flexible booking conditions. Please refer to the "Tasks" outlining specific details for the health and safety protocols for destination and itinerary.   Please also visit our Booking terms and Conditions for the specifics of your personal trip page.

These critical health and operational measures ensure that we can continue to offer tourism experiences with community partners and suppliers in a safe, responsible and sustainable way.  Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about these protocols or your trip and thank you for helping to keep yourself and fellow travelers,  host community and guides safe!   

Physical Fitness Required for the Tour

This tour is moderately strenuous and requires good mobility. 

Navigating the streets of San Miguel can be difficult. There are steep hills, including the street where our B&B is located, which is approximately 3 blocks uphill. All streets in Centro are cobblestoned, and sidewalks are narrow, uneven, and oftentimes slick. Buildings can be centuries-old with high thresholds to step over, may lack customary US safety controls such as hand railings and protective barriers, and may have steep and/or narrow stairways to climb with no elevator access. 

Excursions outside of San Miguel are in rural areas with dirt roads and require the ability to walk on uneven surfaces. 

Location
Mexico
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