Today we had our trip over to Jiquilpan de Juarez. This is a larger city than VdJ. It is about a 40 minute drive away, further east. In November 2012, Jiquilpan was made a Pueblo Magico. This means that the government has deemed the town to be of importance, historically. This usually means that there is an influx of government money into the town for projects and improvements.
This particular town was given this status for one very important reason, it was the birth place and summer home of Pres. Lazaro Cardenas, who was the President of Mexico from 1934 to 1940. The company that Cárdenas founded, Pemex, would later be a model for other nations seeking greater control over their own oil and natural gas resources. He was also very popular because he travelled without any bodyguards or armoured cars. This fearlessness generated widespread respect for Cárdenas by the people. He retired to a modest home by Lake Patzcuaro, which is nearby, and worked the rest of his life supervising irrigation projects and promoting free medical clinics and education for the nation's poor. He also continued to speak out about international political issues and in favour of greater democracy and human rights in Latin America and elsewhere. All in all, a pretty great leader.
When we arrived, we were directed to a parking garage area. Now, this was like driving into a hardware store. I couldn't believe that Sal, in the car ahead, and Mike and Kathy, with us in their pretty big truck, could fit through this area:
Yup, this is where we just drove through!!
We walked about 1 block to the offices of the Pueblo Magico committee and were greeted by Martha, who was our tourist guide today. They were very pleased that Sal & Barb had brought guests from their park to the town. We spent the first part of our time walking around through the town square and down a few of the interesting streets. Boy, did we ever look like a tour group!! There were 12 of us!!
I love this building...it wasn't the government building, just a cool building in the square.
Pretty much the best display of huarache sandals we have ever seen...
This fountain was the main one in town many, many years ago and the
townspeople used to come here to gather their drinking water.
And this is how they keep it clean today, Clorox Bleach, and it works!! Of course, no one comes here to gather water anymore, just a neat spot for visiting...
Hold it, the balloon man has to make a call!!
Beautiful building getting a face lift, thanks to Pueblo Magico...
How many feet have walked on these beautiful pasta tile floors?
This is the entry to the church.
A very beautiful church. What I found interesting was that, right outside these doors, there was blaring rocky-type music. Such a contrast and so very normal, all at the same time. The church was so accessible to everyone and, life, right outside the doors, was accessible to the church....
So we continued our great walk around. It is always interesting to have Sal & Barb with us because they can give us some much information....
Madeleine, Francine, Pete, Doug, Al, Barb, Sal, Colleen, Kathy & Mike
Gilles & I ran down below to take everyone's picture above!
Time for refreshments...
You didn't think that I would leave without a pair of huaraches for Gus, did you?
They are the smallest ones she had, all of about 3 inches long!!
We walked back to the main government building and Sal was interviewed by a member of the Pueblo Magico committee. They were very happy to have tourists in town and were very grateful to Sal & Barb that they brought us over to see their town. Maybe they will be famous!!
Next, it will be the paparazzi that will be after Sal!!
I believe this car had "I love you very much" written in shoe polish all over it!
Well, it was Valentines Day after all!
This is Martha, our guide, getting all of us loaded into a mini-van taxi to take us up to the Silk worm "farm", if that is the correct word. It is quite a job to round us all up!!
Martha's husband is also the Chief of Police of Jiquilpan.
Just think, you cannot see Doug, myself, Martha Sal or the driver!
It was crowded!!
Our happy, Pueblo Magico guide, Martha!
This huge park, with many, many trees planted, was where the silk worms are.
It was also the summer home I told you about, of Pres. Lazaro Cardenas.
It is used for arts, etc. now.
The number of trees was amazing. It would be neat to see them
in the rainy season, when they are all green & flowering!!
Complex looking looms everywhere...
The nice, young senorita that explained all about silk worms and their cycles...
Those are some B-I-G worms!!
(oh, and lovely nails too, Martha!!)
I was quite fascinated by the little racks that house the cocoons. They get hung
up all over this room. I wish I could remember more (Sal & Barb translated..)
but one thing I remember is that one single silk worm will produce
approximately 2,000 meters of raw thread!!!!
This lady was weaving an actual scarf. They take approximately 3 weeks to make
and sell for about $5,000 ps (which is about $400 Cdn) Too much for me, the scarf queen. Can you see how she has the loom secured around her waist and the other
end is on the wall? She just leans back and works!!
I had to be their model for the scarf. It was expertly tied two different ways. I can't imagine wearing it as there are so many ultra-fine little threads. Very exquisite workmanship!!
Group shot back down at the fountain (missing were Mike, Kathy & Colleen)
Well, what a great day. Thanks go, as always to our wonderful hosts, Barb & Sal Contreras from Hacienda Contreras for organising the tour and being able to keep track of all of us!! Please come by Valle de Juarez and stay here!! http://haciendacontreras.com
Now, didn't you all enjoy that tour? We sure did. I am pretty sure that Jiquilpan hasn't seen the likes of that many tourists walking around all at once for quite some time!!
Back home at HC, two more campers arrived today. Was nice to see more and now there are nine of us here. Pretty nice. Makes for a B-I-G happy hour!!
One last picture for you.....We want to wish our sister-in-law, Agnes Beglaw a VERY happy birthday tomorrow. We wanted to post it today, just in case she was out partying tomorrow night!!
FELIZ CUMPLEANOS, from Valle de Juarez, Jalisco, MX!!!!
Well, it's tea time!! Have a good night everyone!!