AROUND THE LAKE OF CHAPALA
Long over due
I began looking out of the car window, just taking in the sites and capturing it on my camera. We drove from one town to another enjoying its’ culture and the agriculture.
Our first stop was to get something to eat. Noe took us to this small family restaurant to eat, which had amazing Mexican food. We originally stopped for some organic homemade chicken soup, for it is something wonderful. However; she did not have any made up. She started our course meal with homemade cheese, which this town is known for. After that she made cheese Quesadillas and the main dish, chicken in red sauce. To top this off another dish came to the table of Tortillas with refried beans. Dan and I looked at
one another saying through our eyes how stuffed we were. But as we were thinking she placed on our table jarred fruit and caramel candy. I chose the pears which were grown in the area and were organic.
After lunch we stopped to take a look at the town square. The architecture of the buildings and culture I tried to capture though my eyes by taking pictures. As you look at the pictures, just close your eyes and imagine you being there instead of me.
After taking off to another town about a half hour away, we first stopped at this area which was surrounded by tall winter green trees. There were log cabins for visitors to stay and Noe knew this place where there was a pet tiger, which we could see up front and personal. Dan touched it as it came along the fence. I never was this close to a tiger before. I only saw one at the zoo from afar.
More to come, the best of the best was this town which is out of the way in the mountains. The town name comes from the Nahuatl and means "place where arrows to hunt deer are made"; Mazamitla.
In this town we got to see the local church and the town square. I even got to see a shoemaker shop and how he made leather Mexican shoes. During this time we also went window shopping and off to the side was a museum showing the culture and history of the town. It’s known as the Swiss Alps in Mexico.
Mazamitla was founded by the Aztecs in 1165. It belonged to the manor of Tzapotlán and paid tribute to the chieftain of Tamazollan. In 1481 the area was invaded by P'urhépecha so that he could take the Laguna de Sayula. P'urhépecha held the area for only a few years until they were defeated at the end of the Salitre War in 1510.
The place was conquered by Cristóbal de Olid together with Juan Rodríguez Villafuerte early in 1522. Their party had been sent by Cortés to explore the region of western Mexico. Upon the conquest the people of Tzapotlán were awarded to Hernán Cortés who appointed Anton Salcedo as encomendero. Being named president of the Audiencia of Mexico, Nuño de Guzmán moved these parcels to Cortés.
It said that Miguel Hidalgo, when he was priest of this area, held mass in Palo Gordo. He used the trunk of an oak that is saved as a relic to serve as the altar for mass. In the slope of Zapatero clashed insurgents in 1812. Francisco Echeverria was their captain, who despite having emerged victorious was seriously injured, dying in Mazamitla. During the French intervention, the invaders burned files. After the French intervention the Mexican locals of Mazamitla captured a French officer named Jonny Fuentes who was hanged in the year 1815 in the town square.
Since 1825 the town had belonged to the 4th canton of Sayula until 1878, when it became a 9th canton of Ciudad Guzmán. On April 19, 1894 the place was declared a town by decree of the state congress.The population of mazamitla has largely increased over the years after the battle of 1878. The operating officer Alexis ceja demanded that the pueblo increase its tourism and created the idea of making cabins for future residents and guests of Mazamitla.
Dan and I will be coming back, for we didn’t get to spend as long as we wanted. The area is breathe taking and the surrounding areas have waterfalls and tall pine trees.
The last stop was to this small little town that is not even on a map called San Cristobel. A friend of ours sells jewelry and she wanted these corn dolls to display her jewelry. So off we went looking and looking, while asking people along the way where this town was. Finally we arrived and ended up at this
home. We all were surprised for it wasn’t a store or shop. To make it more of a mystery it started to pour. The women opened the door and Noe told her about our situation. With that, she started to put the dolls on display on her kitchen table. To end it all we bought her out.
Our journey lasted all day and I must say that I was able to experience the lifestyle of another country. Mexico is absolutely a historical and mystical place and I am very humble to be part of its loving hands.