Welcome to Casa LereéThe blue colonial adobe near the plaza of San Ignacio was built by French pioneer Plácido Leree for his wife Matilde du Claud and their large family. Their daughter Chala welcomed guests and the house became San Ignacio's first guest house or casa de huéspedes. Today the house serves as my home and no longer offers rooms to rent, but I keep the bookstore, photo archive and garden open to visitors during the day.
In the bookstore I offer books in English and Spanish, as well as the full line of books published by the Instituto Sudcaliforniano de Cultura, publisher for the state of Baja California Sur. The books I have edited about San Ignacio are available in manuscript form in both English and Spanish: Voices of San Ignacio; Visits to San Ignacio; Timeline of Event in San Ignacio.
The bookstore also offers fine artesania created locally, including the leather work of Juan Gabriel Arce Arce, state prize winner and teacher of leather craft; paintings and carvings by well-known local artist Clemente Arce Villavicencio; and embroideries in the old style by several talented women in the pueblo and on the ranches.
The old barn which once served as a guest house now features the Photo Archive of San Ignacio, a collection of 940 pictures long preserved by the families of the pueblo. The large walled garden, dominated by an immense Laurel of India, Ficus indicus, holds many artifacts of life in San Ignacio. A small irrigation channel runs through the garden, the Acequia de la Misión.
The bookstore, gallery of the work of local artisans and exhibit of old photos of San Ignacio are open to the public from 9am to 1pm & 4pm to 7pm and offer the visitor a chance to learn about the area. An information map of San Ignacio and trail maps are available for visitors.
Directions: Turn left as you pass in front of the mission church and left again at the back of the plaza. You will see Casa Lereé on your right half a block from the plaza. The house is long and bright blue. The entrance is around the corner through the garden gate. Call '¡Hola Juanita!'
Jane Beard Ames, ‘Juanita,’ 2014