Meaningful Mexico A Journey Like No Other!
About Us

The Team

Meaningful Mexico is composed of artists and artisans from all over the world who live and work in San Miguel de Allende. They are accomplished professionals who after falling in love with San Miguel chose to live here. They are eager to share with you their passion for this town and their love of their craft.

The fabric of this highly creative people has enriched San Miguel and transformed it into an artistic, innovative, and cosmopolitan city. The members of our team have an impressive curriculum, vast teaching experience, and lively and engaging personalities.

Their enthusiasm is contagious and their insight of San Miguel priceless.

Get to know us!

Maria Demello

MARIA DEMELLO (Founder & Director)

I have always been passionate about travel and consider myself a traveler, not a tourist because I delve inside the history, culture and artistic expressions of a region.

I am a native of Mexico City but have lived, studied, taught, and traveled in many countries around the world and therefore I consider myself a citizen of the world. During my tenure as a professor of Latin American Literature and Spanish Language I directed several international education programs in Mexico and other countries in Latin American for several American universities. For over fifteen years I relished seeing my students’ transformative growth when they had returned from being immersed in a different culture. My goal is to replicate this experience with adults who have a sense of curiosity and adventure, and yearn to continue learning, growing, and engaging with their surroundings.

I have spent countless of hours researching, meeting, interviewing, and recruiting San Miguel’s most talented artists and artisans. They will share with you their cultural traditions and artistic expertise and transform your travel experience from ordinary to extraordinary. I look forward to sharing with you a Meaningful Mexico.

Dina Butterfield


Chef Dina’s love for cooking and the magical transformation of ingredients into savory dishes began as a child when she spent countless hours in her grandmother’s kitchen watching and helping her make elaborate traditional Mexican dishes. She later studied gastronomy and culinary arts in Queretaro, and shortly after graduating moved to France where she learned many of the French and Belgian cuisine techniques. However, she started to develop her own personal culinary style when she moved to San Francisco and started using her traditions, culinary knowledge, and creativity to develop her signature cuisine.

Chef Dina considers her cooking a work of art. Depending on what’s in season she creates dishes that delight the eye, palate, and soul. Chef Dina’s cooking classes are personalized, engaging, and always hands-on. Her classes start in the Mercado where you carefully choose the ingredients that will end up in your table during a memorable feast.

Bea Aaronson

BEA AARONSON (Art History)

Béa is a multimedia artist, art critic, curator, award-winning poet, published author, stage performer, and international lecturer. She gives multimedia conferences on art and literature all over the world disseminating her thoughts and images.

Béa was born in Paris and studied art history and art theory at the Sorbonne and L'Ecole du Louvre. She later traveled all over Africa, the Middle East, India, Nepal, Polynesia, North & South America, Europe, Iceland, and Israel. In 1987, Béa settled in Charleston, South Carolina and earned her M.A. in French Literature and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature. She continued her artistic explorations at her studio, which became a place where surrealism played with expressionism.

In 2008, Béa moved to San Miguel where she continues to exude her boundless energy and talent through lectures, performances and solo & collaborative art exhibits. At her gallery La Ostra Roja, Béa offers a weekly lecture series that satisfies the curiosity and quenches the thirst of a growing audience.

Gustavo Fernandez Coria


Gustavo is originally from Mexico City. He has traveled extensively and lived in London, Barcelona and Buenos Aires as well as many cities throughout Mexico. He has been a photographer for over forty years and has more than twenty years experience teaching photography. He has taught at the Escuela de San Carlos and Centro Cultural Casa Lamm in Mexico City, and The Instituto de la Cultura in Yucatan amongst other institutions. He is currently teaching at the Universidad de Guanajuato, campus San Miguel. He is the former chief photographer for This Magazine, the cultural, arts, and design magazine of San Miguel. He is currently a free-lance photographer for the international magazine Casas y Gente.

Gustavo has participated in many solo and collaborative exhibits in Mexico City, London, Barcelona, Bombay, Istanbul and other major cities. His interests in photography include landscape, archeology, architecture, food, gothic cemeteries, and using conceptual & abstract tecniques. He is currently working on two exhibits, the fist titled, Siqueiros and his Influence on Urban Art and the second, Reflections.

Miguel Angel Fernandez

MIGUEL ANGEL FERNANDEZ G. (Sculpture, Reed, & Spanish Conversation)

Miguel Angel is an artist with degrees in art, philosophy, and engineering. His interdisciplinary approach has provided depth and range to his art. When he lived in Japan he learned the Ichibuku and Josegi techniques, which have had a profound influence on his work.

Miguel Angel likes working with a variety materials such as stone, metal, wood, reed, and waste. He has taught classes in art criticism, philosophy, Spanish grammar & conversations, and workshops in sculpture and reed. Miguel Angel is currently designing an international sculpture eco-park in a ranch outside of the city of San Miguel de Allende.

Sculpture Spanish Conversation Art Expression with Reed
Arturo Morales

ARTURO MORALES (History & Architecture)

Arturo has a long trajectory in higher education and tourism. He has a BA in History and an MA in Education. For over twenty years he was professor at the Universidad de Guanajuato and later at the Universidad del Valle de Mexico teaching in the School of Humanities.

He was one of the founders of the Centro Bilingue de San Miguel and for many years he imparted lectures on Mexico’s cultural and natural heritage at the Public Library of San Miguel. He was president of the Audubon Society in San Miguel and is an ardent activist for the protection and preservation of the region's natural and cultural patrimony.

Arturo is currently working in San Miguel with a community-based organization to promote the natural and cultural preservation of San Miguel. For more than twenty years, Arturo has been involved with tourism in San Miguel, and has developed a rich and extensive variety of tours located in several regions of Mexico.

Vive los deportes en Guanajuato Disney Club TOUR BICENTENARIO en Cuatrimotos
Jesse Bert

JESSE BERT (Jewelry Making)

Jesse Bert is originally from the U.S. and relocated to Mexico in 2006. With twelve years of experience as a jeweler, Jesse has a BFA in Jewelry and Metalsmithing from Rochester Institute of Technology, and an MFA in Jewelry and Metalsmithing from East Carolina University in North Carolina.

Jesse's preferred artistic techniques include sculpting jewelry that incorporates recycled and found objects. Over the past six years Jesse has taught metalsmithing and jewelry techniques, on a regular basis, to students of all levels at his private studio in San Miguel de Allende. He also teaches workshops in different cities around Mexico and around the world.

Stephen Eakert


Originally from Shelby, North Carolina, Stephen is a self-taught artist who began drawing at the age of three. Early on he discovered the emotional force of the drawn line and its infinite forms of expression. Lucid, serious, happy, sad, caressed, and violent, the line follows Stephen’s emotions and will remain the measure of his imagination and a primordial vehicle of his creative expression.

In 1992 he obtained a BA in biology from the university of North Carolina, in Charlotte and became a chemist and a biologist. Simultaneously Stephen studied art history on his own with the precision of a dissecting mind. By using his scientific perception and intuitive creativity he as achieved a harmonious equilibrium in his artistic endeavors.

In 1996, Stephen moved to Charleston, South Carolina and opened a studio gallery with another artist, E.C. Bell where he exhibited his works on a regular basis. There he met Béa Aaronson, a French artist also in love with art history and painting, and with whom he later opened a studio gallery in 2005 named The Lamb and the Lobster, which housed art exhibits & lectures, poetry readings, and life performances that enlightened the hearts and minds of many.

Stephen moved to San Miguel in 2008 and is currently sharing, La Ostra Roja with Béa Aaronson. Fueled by the contagious creative energy that emanates from San Miguel, he paints, welds, and assembles more than ever.

Anado Mclauchlin


Anado is a self-made artist with an abundance of creativity and talent. He works with a variety of materials including, but not limited to glass, tile, plastic, oil, watercolor, metal, rocks, shells, tires, and trash. Anado blends creativity with playfulness to produce the most fascinating and irreverent works of art.

Anado arrived in San Miguel over ten years ago after residing in different parts of India, New York, and California. In San Miguel Anado created Casa de las Ranas, an original, eclectic, provocative, colorful, joyful, and mystical shrine to art and creativity. People who take Anado’s workshop will have the rare opportunity to work in his house and get infused with his energy and creative genius.

The New York Times - His Theory? Color Chaos Los Angeles Times - Casa las Ranas

SUSANA ALONSO (Painted Glass, Mosaic, Stained Glass)

Susana specializes in the art of glass. She works with stained, fused, and painted glass and mosaic. Much of her commissioned work is displayed in hotels, office buildings and other public spaces, as well as in private collections in Mexico, United States and Canada.

Susana is originally from Mexico. She studied ceramic, photography, weaving and stained glass at the Art Center of Oregon State University. The versatility of glass impressed her so much that she decided to specialize in this medium as a form of artistic expression. In Mexico, she continued her studies in graphic design at the Universidad del Valle de Mexico in Queretaro and took various courses on fused glass, grisalle, sand casting, sculpture and painted glass. She has worked under the tutelage of prominent artists such as Roger Nashman, Walter Lieberman, Ana Thiel, Fanny Morell and Carlos Sanchez-Vega.

Susana currently resides in San Miguel de Allende and has a gallery where she provides a variety of workshops and art classes. The gallery displays her work along with other artists specializing in glass.

Painted Glass Mosaic Stained Glass