Las Pozas, Xilitla (simply known as Xilitla or The Surreal Gardens) is one of the main locations in the musicvideo for the second single: We are the People from the Empire's debut album Walking on a Dream.
Las Pozas, which means "The Pools", is a garden created by Edward James, located in the subtropical rainforests in the mountains of Mexico, outside the town of Xilitla.
The garden is 2,000 feet (610 meter) above sea level and includes over 80 acres (320,000 m2) of natural waterfalls and pools.
Discovery of Xilitla
Edward James discovered the place, Xilitla in 1945 together with his guide Plutarco Gastelum, after his lifetime friend & cousin, Magic Realist painter Bridget Bate Tichenor, encouraged James in Hollywood to search for a surreal location in the wilderness of Mexico to realise his dream to create a "Garden of Eden" in his artstic ways to satisfy his diverse estoretic interesst.
After the finding of Xilitla in Las Pozas, which is a part of the San Luis Potosí state which lies in the Huasteca region of Mexico. Edward James knew what he wanted to create.
Building The Surreal Gardens of Xilitla
Between the years of 1949 and 1984 James built scores of surreal concrete structures, which each one had a different creative name given to, such as:
the House on Three Floors Which Will in Fact Have Five or Four or Six
the House with a Roof like a Whale
Staircase to Heaven
Plantings and beds full of tropical flowers, including orchids, were not rare. There was a time where it was said that there were 29.000 of such beds in La Pozas once.
There were a variety of small houses, niches and pens that held exotic animals, because James was a owner of many exotic animals, it was a simple task to implement them into the gardens.
Many of the animals in La Pozas, Xilitla were exotic birds, it is well known that James once travelled with his Boa Constrictors to Hotel Francis in Mexico City.
Trails, Sculptures & Design
The garden has alot of trails and massive sculptures implemented into it's design, some of the sculptures are up to four stories tall, and trails are placed all over the garden, such as steps, ramps, bridges and also narrow, winding walkways that traverse the valley walls.
Purchase of Xilitla & Safety
Xilitla was bought by James for $5 million, to pay this off, James sold his collection of Surrealist art at auction.
In the summer of 2007, the Fundación Pedro y Elena Hernández, a company named Cemex, and the government of San Luis Potosípaid about $2.2 million for Las Pozas and created a foundation that will oversee the preservation and restoration of the site.
The foundations final name became Fondo Xilitla.