Monday, May 9, 2011

Santa Fe de La Laguna is a hidden gem

For a special treat for my group that were on my Artisan & Architecture tour, we stopped in Santa Fe de La Laguna.  This is the main church that is part of the "pueblo-hospital" community.  The carved stone cross is typical of those carved in the 1500's.  The cross was the most notable Christian symbol, designed to attract the Indians into the fold and the settlement.  It was familiar to the native people because of it resemblance to the Tree of Life.
In the courtyard stands a stone statue of Don Vasco de Quiroga.  For it was Don Vasco, originally from Spain, who became Bishop in the mid 1500's and he was responsible for the creation of a series of model Christian villages, each with a mission hospital.   They were designed to attract the Indians with their hospital and small chapel.  The second community was established in Santa Fe de La Laguna, on the north shore of Lake Patzcuaro and it was active into the late 1700's.  It was Don Vasco who established different crafts in each village in order to make then self sufficient.  It is a regional tradition that remains strong to this day.
Santa Fe de La Laguna is an old town, as you can see by its ancient adobe walls.  Wouldn't you love to live on a street named Utopia?
It was close to lunch time and the town's plaza was pretty sleepy. 
There were stands selling fresh meat.
Fresh fish just caught from Lake Patzcuaro were also for sell.
Men were relaxing and visiting under the large arcade that is home to a vibrant tile mural depicting the struggle of the Revolution.
The main street leading into the main plaza was lined with a few shops selling intricately embroidered blouses and belts and rebozos of all colors and designs.  
Santa Fe de Laguna is a hidden gem and not one to be missed. 

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