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By Allison Jarrell

Members of the public are invited to help celebrate the completion of the restoration of the Blas Aguilar Adobe Museum and Acjachemen Cultural Center on Saturday, Aug. 26, from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. The grand reopening fiesta, which is free to attend, will include cultural activities, food and drinks.

After more than two years of closures, the Blas Aguilar Adobe Museum officially reopened to the public back in April. Since then, the museum has been open on weekends to visitors while some minor renovations continued, like the installation of a native plants garden.

Domingo Belardes, of the Juaneño Band of Mission Indians, Acjachemen Nation, curates the museum and has been working diligently with the Blas Aguilar Adobe Foundation on restoring the adobe, creating the native garden, and restoring the courtyard between the Blas Aguilar Adobe and Casa Tejada, which features a well and an orno, or oven.

The Blas Aguilar Adobe is the last of 40 plaza adobes that were constructed in 1794 near the Mission to house soldiers and Acjachemen families. Don Blas Aguilar purchased the adobe, known then as Casa de Esperanza, in 1845, along with the neighboring Casa Tejada. Today, the museum aims to share early San Juan and Acjachemen history with those who visit.

The museum and cultural center is located at 31806 El Camino Real in San Juan Capistrano. The museum is open Friday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., or by appointment by calling Belardes at 949.751.7258.

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