canelologo

The Canelo Project is a small non-profit organization, that we, Bill and Athena Steen founded in 1989 and whose work centers on the theme – Connecting People, Culture and Nature.

 

The tiny town of Canelo, in southeastern Arizona, is home to The Canelo Project and the center of many of our activities .  We rebuilt the old adobe ranch house and complex of buildings to function as a place where people of different backgrounds and cultures could come together to share in an ongoing exploration of living, building, the arts, music and regional foods.

We have developed it as a center for learning, research, demonstration and cross-cultural gatherings.  Our ongoing annual activities revolve around workshops, tours, intern programs and writing. The focal point of our work is handcrafting simple, small-scale and comfortable shelter that is built primarily with local and natural materials. In that pursuit, we have evolved a unique straw bale and clay wall system that is finished with beautiful clay and lime plasters, sculptural wall carvings, earthen floors and clay ovens.

We, Bill and Athena Steen, as the founding directors of The Canelo Project, have also taught and worked extensively in Mexico, taught workshops and lectured throughout Europe and the United States.

We have also become increasingly involved in museum art projects that include the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C., the National Botanical Gardens – Washington D.C., the Denver Art Museum, the Ceramic Research Center – Arizona State University and the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.

Our sons, Benito and Arjuna, on occasion, have involved themselves in our projects.  They have grown up in the midst of various Canelo Project workshops and projects and in the process have developed their own individual paths.  Benito has become talented in sculptural metal and artistic clay work while Arjuna (Oso) has become a fine finish carpenter.

As a non-profit organization we gladly accept donations of useful materials and tools, such as those on our Wish List.

 

 

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What Others Are Saying

Never before had I found a hotel, anywhere, that would rate an excellent in all categories. I am really too picky for that. But our stay at La Posada del Rio Sonora in Banámichi, Sonora, Mexico, was everything we hoped it would be … and so much more. Excellent on every count is a very fair rating for this wonderful place.
We had spent a quick night there about a year ago and decided to return this month for four days to celebrate our daughter’s 18th birthday. The staff and owners could not have been more helpful and accommodating. It was so relaxing, comfortable, and full of memories that we are already trying to decide when, not if, to return. Soon, I hope.
We all had a great time. Our daughter has so many wonderful memories of her Rio Sonora 18th birthday; we’re pleased we were able to send her off into her own adulthood with a grand celebration.
There were so many highlights of our trip it would be pointless to try to list them all, but a few will remain in our hearts for many years:
• The local staff was warm and nurturing. They treated us like they had invited us into their own homes and made sure we understood “mi casa es tu casa.” How gracious!
• The food at the restaurant was delicious. My favorite was the “caldo de queso,” a regional specialty, and the translucently thin tortillas melted in our mouths at each meal. In our daughter’s honor, they prepared her favorite dish, “sopa de albóndigas,” for the birthday dinner.
• As a birthday surprise the staff produced a beautiful and delicious cake for our celebration, complete with candles.
• Side trips to the nearby hot springs and other rural Rio Sonora villages to mingle and wander were exciting adventures, providing a very warm and secure feeling about the jewels along the river valley.
• The colors of the hotel were complemented by the amazing flora within its inner courtyard and throughout the village; the rooms were comfortably furnished, immaculate, quiet, and each unique with its own tile, accents, trim, and décor.
• Sipping a cool brew or shooting back a “caballito” of the local Bacanora on the terrace overlooking the plaza was a meditative way to end each day.
• Last but not least, the feeling of trust and respect that permeated La Posada – for and from the employees, for the guests, and for the community. Such an atmosphere is far too hard to find anywhere these days.
We are actively recruiting friends and family to join us for another visit to La Posada del Rio Sonora.

Stayed January 2014, traveled with family

Jim C., Glenwood, New Mexico
 
 
 
 

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