Las Pozas, Xilitla was the creation of Edward James, the eccentric English poet and artist, and patron of the Surrealist movement. Its origins date back to 1947 when Edward, living in semi exile in Mexico, acquired the coffee plantation near Xilitla, San Luis Potosi, - now known as Las Pozas - registering it in the name of his friend and guide Plutarco Gastelum, who would later become the foreman and overseer of all construction there. For the next ten years Edward used “Las Pozas” to plant orchids and as a home for exotic animals. After a unprecedented frost in 1962 destroyed many of the orchids, Edward started building the extraordinary sculpture garden we see today. The design of “Las Pozas” was inspired both by his orchids and the vegetation of the Huastecan jungle combined with architectural elements taken from the Surrealist movement he was so closely involved with.
In the 1960s and 1970s Edward dedicated more and more resources to his “Surrealist Xanadu”, spending millions of dollars and employing hundreds of masons, artisans, and local craftsmen. By the time James died in 1984, he had built 36 surrealist inspired concrete sculptures, spread out over more than 20 acres of lush tropical jungle. Over time “Las Pozas” become known to artists, writers, travelers and photographers interested in James and the Surreal movement. After Edward James died, the Gastelum family took over the running of “Las Pozas”.