Charming Guachinango: shimmering beauty, mining legends in Sierra Occidental

Mexico Life
Guachinango’s plaza speaks of peace and prosperity.Guachinango’s plaza speaks of peace and prosperity.

Charming Guachinango: shimmering beauty, mining legends in Sierra Occidental

Forget the Taj Mahal, see this Jalisco town’s sparkling church instead

The little town of Guachinango lies hidden in the hills of the Sierra Occidental, 100 kilometers west of Guadalajara.

Mention Guachinango to most Mexicans and they will say, “Oh, yes, that delicious fish, huachinango.” Actually, the word Guachinango means “place surrounded by trees,” although today “place surrounded by mines,” might suit it better.

The rumors that occasionally reached me about this little town, however, did not refer to its mines, but to its quiet beauty. “Guachinango has the prettiest plaza in all Mexico,” I heard. And even: “Forget the Taj Mahal, you should see Guachinango’s sparkling church.”

So, one not-so-fine day during the rainy season, my wife and I drove off to see the little town, which is less than a two-hour drive from Guadalajara. We were truly impressed by the incredible beauty of that church, which is covered with hundreds of thousands of pieces of broken porcelain plates and saucers, and we were utterly charmed by the quiet beauty of the plaza.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t take pictures that day because the sky was filled with roiling black clouds and we couldn’t visit the local museum because it was a Sunday.

Detail of the porcelain-covered church.

Detail of the porcelain-covered church.

So, we decided to come back on a weekday in December in the morning when the sun lights up the dazzling façade of the church and takes your breath away. After enjoying the overall view, we examined the church wall up close. The shards of plates, cups and knickknacks have their own stories to tell — in Spanish, English and even Chinese!

When you step inside the church, you come upon the first clue as to how such a small community could afford such a magnificent church. The altar is covered with gold and it’s the real thing, the product of the many mines in the hills just outside town.

For a fine view of those hills, you can ascend an extremely narrow, one-person-at-a-time circular staircase — built in the 1800s — which takes you up to the bell tower where you can wander about the roof, if you dare.

As for the plaza, the flower gardens, benches and kiosks are laid out in a picture-perfect way. I’m surprised film crews are not at work in this town every day; you couldn’t ask for a better movie set.

Next we visited La Casa de Cultura, which has a large, modern museum on the upper floor. Here we discovered that the original town of Guachinango — located a few kilometers from the present site — was a well-organized indigenous community long before the Spaniards arrived. They grew corn, calabash, beans and chiles, spoke Náhuatl, had their own distinctive style of ceramics and buried their dead in deep shaft tombs.

The Spaniards arrived in 1525, but the “modern” history of Guachinango actually began in 1545 when Juan Fernández de Hijar “found a very good silver mine” in what is now the center of town and a new community gradually formed around it.

Altar plated with gold from the town’s nearby mines.

Altar plated with gold from the town’s nearby mines.

This must have been a very large mine because no sooner was it in operation than “300 indigenas and nine negroes rebelled and ran off into the hills to hide,” apparently none too happy about being enslaved. The Spaniards, of course, squelched the miners’ futile grasp at freedom and dignity.

By 1550 the Province of Guachinango had a grand total of 215 mines, including El Barqueño, which local officials say “is thought to have had the most important gold reserves in all Mexico.”

Naturally, we were now curious about Guachinango’s mines and, when we asked about them in the town hall, a young man named Nacho immediately offered to show us a few. He then recruited a friend, who in turn commandeered a truck and off we went. The first place we visited were the ruins of a big mill only five minutes from town where ore was ground into powder. These ruins are just off the highway and very easy to reach. Just follow the instructions below.

From the mill, we walked along an old track shaded by thick pines and oaks until we came to a deep, dark tunnel which disappeared into the hillside. We poked around the entrance, hoping to find a piece of gold-bearing ore, but refrained from entering the shaft as old mines are infamous for falling beams and unseen deep pits.

After that I thought we’d be heading back to town, but our enthusiastic guides said, “Oh, there’s another mine just up ahead.” That one, of course, was not far from yet another and we soon traversed half of Cerro La Catarina until at last we came to El Aguacero Mine, the site of a famous incident.

Here, in 1952, Don Salomé Hernández was working deep inside the mine, 50 meters from the entrance, when the tunnel collapsed, trapping him. During the following days, rescuers could hear him banging rocks together to indicate he was alive. After seven days, he was rescued, but emerged in very weak condition.

View of the town from Cerro la Catarina.

View of the town from Cerro la Catarina.

Legend has it that he had managed to survive all that time by eating the new leather straps he had recently attached to his huaraches. As for water, they say he had none during his entire ordeal.

On his way to the hospital in Guadalajara, according to our guides, he opened his eyes and said, “I had horrible visions there in the darkness, but I’ve been reborn . . . thank God!”

After visiting the mines, our guides drove us to the very top of Cerro La Catarina from which we could enjoy a magnificent view of Guachinango and the Sierra Occidental.

Upon our return to town, we followed our guides’ advice and went shopping first for the very tasty local bread and then for bolitas, a chewy candy made from guavas, but infinitely tastier than any other we’ve come upon — the makers say their formula is a family secret. Bolitas are available from just about any grocery store in town.

Guachinango is a bit remote, but the roads leading to it are in great shape and you’ll have no problem getting there in any sort of vehicle. Try to go in the morning to get the best view of the sparkling church facade.

To reach the center of Guachinango, ask Google Maps to take you to “Kiosco De La Plaza Civica, Guachinango.”

If you would like to visit the old mill, drive back out of Guachinango the way you came in and turn right (south) onto a dirt road two kilometers from the plaza. Follow this 330 meters and park in front of the home of Sebastián and Jesús, two old gambusinos (prospectors).

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Ask them if you can visit the ruins of the Molino (mill), which lie 250 meters south of their house.

Guachinango is picturesque and historic Mexico at its best.

The writer has lived near Guadalajara, Jalisco, for more than 30 years and is the author of A Guide to West Mexico’s Guachimontones and Surrounding Area and co-author of Outdoors in Western Mexico. More of his writing can be found on his website.

RIVIERA NAYARIT RENEWS ITS BLUE FLAG CERTIFICATIONS

Blue Flag designation (about cleanliness and services) is very difficult to get and we are proud of the beaches that have attained and maintained that!

The Puerto Vallarta continues to invest in our environment and to maximize the enjoyment of our natural resources, for both owners and visitors.

RIVIERA NAYARIT RENEWS ITS BLUE FLAG CERTIFICATIONS

On Monday, July 15, 2019, Blue Flag certificates were awarded to the beach at Nuevo Vallarta Norte and the Marina Riviera Nayarit during a ceremony headed by Miguel Torruco Marqués, Mexico’s Secretary of Tourism, and Antonio Echeverría García, Governor of the State of Nayarit. Both venues are in the municipality of Bahía de Banderas in the Riviera Nayarit. The Lagoon at Santa María del Oro (municipality of Santa María del Oro), and the Marina Fonatur San Blas (municipality of San Blas) are also within the Riviera Nayarit.

The event took place at the Marina Fonatur in the Historic Port of San Blas, where they raised the corresponding flag. This occasion marked the first time the marina received this international certification.

Thanks to these credentials, the state of Nayarit has become an example for the nation. According to Torruco Marqués, this “speaks to the commitment the tourism service providers and the community have with the environment.”

He stated that over the next three decades, people would have more free time and more income. Therefore, “those nations that best preserve their environment and, above all, conserve their historical, cultural, and culinary identity, will be the ones who will participate fully in the extraordinary economic revenue generated by tourism.”

Ana Cecilia Llanos Guzmán, Secretary of Tourism of the State of Nayarit, also made a distinguished appearance at the event, along with the municipal presidents of Bahía de Banderas, Jaime Cuevas Tello, and Candy Yescas, from San Blas.

The Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) sets the protocols for Blue Flag certifications. Joaquín Díaz Ríos, executive director for the entity’s Mexico chapter, offered the explanatory statements: The main criteria taken into account for this award are water quality, environmental education and management, safety, and services.

Of note is the fact the certification is valid for one year. Because of this, at the end of every summer the beaches are up for recertification after an exhaustive evaluation.

MORE INFO:

+ According to statistics offered by the Ministry of Tourism, Mexico is first in line in Latin America as to the number of Blue Flags received and in 13th place worldwide.

+ Currently, 54 beaches and three marinas in 13 municipalities and six states in Mexico have the certification: Baja California Sur, Nayarit, Jalisco, Guerrero, Oaxaca, and Quintana Roo.

+ The Riviera Nayarit received its first Blue Flag for the beach at Nuevo Vallarta Norte in 2013, which has maintained its certification since then.

+ The Marina Riviera Nayarit in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle received its Blue Flag in 2015, the first of its kind to receive this international award.

+ The lagoon at Santa María del Oro raised its first Blue Flag in August of 2016.

 

PERCEPTION OF SECURITY IN PUERTO VALLARTA HAS INCREASED

The perception of insecurity increased in the municipalities of Guadalajara and Zapopan, while Puerto Vallarta, Tonalá, Tlaquepaque, and Tonalá, came out better qualified during the second quarter of the year, according to the National Survey of Urban Public Safety of the National Institute of Geography and Statistics.

The highest percentage of people who feel safe in their Jalisco city was Puerto Vallarta. The perception of insecurity decreased from 57.4 to 43.1%, meaning 56.9% of the population consider Puerta Vallarta as a safe place to live. This is Puerto Vallarta’s highest ranking since the quarterly surveys started.

According to INEGI data, during the first quarter Guadalajara had a perception of 80.2 percent, while last June, the perception of insecurity increased to 85.0%. In Zapopan, the perception rose from 68.6 to 70.6 percent.

Tonalá had a perception of insecurity in 85.1% of the population during the first three months of the year and dropped to 76.6 in the second quarter.

Tlajomulco decreased from 72.8 to 65.0 percent. In Tlaquepaque, the perception of insecurity was also reduced from 80.2 to 72.6 percent.

According to the most recent National Survey of Urban Public Safety (ENSU), seven out of 10 people perceive the city where they live as insecure, at a percentage of 73.9% of Mexicans feel insecure.

The cities in Mexico where people consider that living is more insecure are: Ecatepec (State of Mexico) 97%; Coatzacoalcos (Veracruz) 94%; Naucalpan (State of Mexico) 94%; Villahermosa (Tabasco) 92%, and Tapachula (Chiapas) with 92.3%.

On the other hand, the cities with the least perception of insecurity were: San Pedro Garza García, Nuevo León (18.9), Mérida, Yucatán (30.2), San Nicolás de los Garza, Nuevo León (31.5), Los Cabos, Baja California Sur ( 36.1), Durango (40.8) and Puerto Vallarta (43.1%).

The survey does not take into account actual crime statistics and is not a guide to determine the security or insecurity of any destination in Mexico.

From simple hotels to luxurious resorts the Vallarta Tribune has collected many of the available daypass details so you can relax poolside from Punta Mita to Mismaloya

Hi to all of our readers!

As a person that lives here year round, I have over-looked the amazing opportunities that exist here for a stay-cation or something a little more or even just a day trip to a local resort for much earned rest and relaxation.

I have attached a day pass guide, created by the Vallarta Tribune.

The costs run from as little to 5 USD to much, much more, but the options are numerous.

Please share this with your friends and family.

Gracias!

 

Todd Bates

Owner/Broker

Puerto Vallarta RE/MAX

 

Arturo Dávalos, has been chosen as the thirty-third best Mayor evaluated in Mexico

Arturo Dávalos, has been chosen as the thirty-third mayor best evaluated in Mexico
July 10, 2019

The mayor of Puerto Vallarta, Arturo Dávalos Peña, is the thirty-third mayor best evaluated, among 2 thousand 400 municipalities that exist in Mexico, with an approval rate of 38.9 percent.

Qualification according to the Massive Caller survey, which located Puerto Vallarta within the top 100 municipalities in the country.

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Ver imagen en Twitter

 

Arturo Dávalos, trigésimo tercer alcalde mejor evaluado en México

 

El primer edil de Puerto Vallarta, Arturo Dávalos Peña, es el trigésimo tercer alcalde mejor evaluado, de entre 2 mil 400 municipios que existen en México, con un índice de aprobación del 38.9 por ciento.

 

Calificación de acuerdo a la encuesta Massive Caller, que ubicó a Puerto Vallarta dentro de los principales 100 municipios del país.

Por su parte, Tlajomulco de Zúñiga, se encuentra en la posición 41; obtuvo una aprobación del 34.4 por ciento; el presidente de Guadalajara en encuentra en la posición número 55 de los 100 evaluados y Tonalá en la posición 95, lo que le sitúa entre los peores municipios calificados del país.

Tanto la alcaldesa de San Pedro Tlaquepaque, como el presidente de Zapopan, tuvieron una aprobación del 39.7 por ciento. Se encuentran en el lugar 28 y 29, respectivamente.

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MassiveCaller@MassiveCaller

Le compartimos nuestra medición de . Evaluamos la aprobación de los 100 principales de . Resaltamos los 20 municipios con mayor aprobación y los 20 con menor aprobación, así como, el listado ordenado de los 100.

Los municipios mejor evaluados de todo el país fueron: Parral, Chihuahua; Santa Catarina y Apodaca, Nuevo León; Veracruz, Veracruz y Reynosa, Tamaulipas.

Los que estuvieron en el último lugar fueron: Victoria, Tamaulipas; Nezahualcóyotl, Estado de México; Oaxaca de Juárez, Oaxaca; Ensenada, Baja California y Villahermosa, Tabasco.

La encuesta se realizó el pasado 29 de junio; en total fueron 600 consultas en cada municipio. Tiene un margen de error del 4.3 por ciento.

VALLARTA FOOD TOURS

VALLARTA FOOD TOURS

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Downtown Vallarta Food Tour announced it has been recognized as the fifth place winner in the Food Experiences category of the TripAdvisor Travelers Choice awards for Experiences, ranking #5 out of over 2,200 global food experiences.

The second annual Travelers’ Choice awards for Experiences highlight the world’s top bookable experiences on TripAdvisor, by category and country, based on the quantity and quality of reviews and ratings by travelers worldwide.

With more than 200,000 experiences on TripAdvisor, these winners are in an extremely competitive field and represent the best-of-the-best with only 1% receiving this award.

Back in 2011, Paul Mayer and Lindsay Prime Mayer started Puerto Vallarta Food Tours with the tag “Become a local in 3 hours”. Thousands of “new locals” later, Vallarta Food Tour’s Original Downtown Tour has been recognized as a top ten food experience (#5) in the world by Trip Advisor and #1 tour in Puerto Vallarta out of 255.

Food tours have become a favorite among travelers who are eager to learn and enjoy the best the city has to offer in a short time. With more than 8 tours on the roster, travelers can enjoy a variety of regional dishes including mole, fresh ceviche, birria tacos, refreshing tuba, succulent coconut, and a tortilla straight out of the conveyer belt! All with a good smattering of the city’s sights, history, and people.

Co-founder Lindsay Prime started the tour after realizing that many people were stuck in tourist traps, missing the best that Puerto Vallarta has to offer.

“People often ask us ‘where do the locals go to eat?’ We wanted to create an experience for people to learn not only where locals eat, but also the history of the dishes and their importance in Mexican culture,” Lindsay enthusiastically explains, “We love living here and wanted to showcase the food, the culture, the families, the history. Vallarta Food Tours allows us to do just that!”

8 reefs discovered off coast of Veracruz, Mexico

University of Veracruz researcher Ortiz.University of Veracruz researcher Ortiz.

8 reefs discovered off coast of Veracruz

Six of the reefs are coral, said a University of Veracruz researcher

Researchers from the University of Veracruz and the Boca del Río Institute of Technology, supported by environmentalists and local fishermen, have discovered eight reefs with over 100 previously unknown reef structures off the coast of Veracruz.

University researcher Leonardo Ortiz Lozano said the reefs cover a surface area of 1,100 hectares from the municipality of Tamiahua to the Tecolutla river, and from the municipality of Alvarado to the mouth of the Papaloapan river.

He added that the biggest, dubbed Corazones Reef by its discoverers, is close to five kilometers long and 700 meters wide, making it the longest and northernmost reef in Mexico discovered to date.

The Los Gallos Reef and the Camaronera Reef also stand out for their ecosystems, which contain marine sponges, algae and some invertebrates. The scientist said that of the eight reefs, six are coral while two others are non-coral, which for the most part are not as diverse as other reefs.

“We are talking about reefs that are 18, 30 and 40 meters deep, which means that they are not as diverse as the reefs we are familiar with, such as the Sacrificios Reef and the Isla Verde Reef, all of those. But at the same time, they have a lot of sediment. They have a low diversity of coral and fishing prevents them from having a larger diversity of commercially important fish.”

The discovery of the reefs could also have major implications for the area’s commercial development. Ortiz Lozano explained that since the newly-discovered reefs have not yet been recognized by Mexican authorities, they are not protected and are at risk of being destroyed by oil and gas drilling and related activities in the Gulf of Mexico.

“The southern Texas-Tuxpan pipeline passes right over the most important reef we discovered, which is the Corazones Reef.”

Ximena Ramos Pedrueza, Gulf area director of the environmental organization Cemda, said the organization is pushing for the reefs to be recognized by the Commission for Natural Protected Areas (Conanp) by including them on maps of protected areas, which would grant the reefs some protection from major industry.

Source: Milenio (sp), Al Calor Político.com (sp), La Jornada (sp)

POLICEMAN SAVES CHOKING CHILD IN PUERTO VALLARTA

POLICEMAN SAVES CHOKING CHILD IN PUERTO VALLARTA

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Policeman saves choking child in Puerto Vallarta

The prompt intervention of a police officer in Puerto Vallarta saved a child who was choking on an object. Last night, a woman, with her son in arms, ran out to the street screaming for help on Agustín Melgar street in Ixtapa. where fortunately the police from the PV-284 unit was passing.

Immediately the woman, named Lucia “N” (23 years old), told him that her one-year-old son was semi-conscious because he had choked on something.

Police Officer Jaime Mayrén Reyes provided first aid to the child, performing the Heimlich Maneuver, making the child project the object that obstructed his respiratory tract and recovered consciousness.

The mother said that the child was eating cereal when suddenly he began to choke. The B-71 unit of the fire paramedics arrived, but the minor did not require any further medical attention. Paramedics observed the minor, Adrián, in the arms of his mother, consciously alert and reactive, with a good coloration of the skin.

Single Story For Sale in Zona Romantica, Puerto Vallarta

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Best Views of Town and Ocean!

•  108.64 sqm , 2 bath , 2 bdrm single story FOR SALE  USD495,000 .
MLS® 15918

The unique concept of Pier 57 allows for each 2 bedroom 2 bath home the ability to convert to an oversized one bedroom with larger living areas or spacious open studio loft-style apartment. With rooftop amenities which include a resort-style infinity-edge swimming pool, raised sundeck for additional privacy, private cabanas with entertainment systems, full bar, restaurant facilities and full-feature gym facilities. Expect only the best in kitchen equipment and design with a retractable privacy wall which conceals the kitchen entirely when not in use for more of a lounge environment. Finish materials are imported and of the highest quality available. Enjoy views of the town and/or the ocean. Situated in the Romantic Zone only 500 ft. to the ocean and the famous Los Muertos Pier.

El concepto único de Pier 57 permite que cada casa de 2 habitaciones y 2 baños se pueda convertir en una habitación de gran tamaño con áreas de estar más grandes o en un amplio apartamento tipo loft de estudio abierto. Con comodidades en la azotea que incluyen una piscina de borde infinito estilo centro turístico, terraza elevada para mayor privacidad, cabañas privadas con sistemas de entretenimiento, bar completo, instalaciones de restaurante y gimnasio completamente equipado. Espere solo lo mejor en equipamiento y diseño de cocina con una pared de privacidad retráctil que oculta la cocina por completo cuando no está en uso para un ambiente más relajado. Los materiales de acabado son importados y de la más alta calidad disponible. Disfrute de las vistas de la ciudad y / o el océano. Ubicado en la zona romántica, a solo 500 pies del océano y del famoso muelle de Los Muertos.

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