with Isabel Fuente and Jim Lloyd
MARCH 9-12, 2004

[Hacienda Ahuacatepec]

Time: Leave Ajijic Plaza at 9:00 AM on March 9th and return around 4:00 PM on March 12th.
Cost: $3700 pesos per person, double occupancy
Included in tour: Transportation, lodging, all meals except dinner on the first night, snacks wine and guide.
Payment: A non-refundable full payment must be received by March 1st, 2004
Number of persons: 10

Day One: On the way to Mascota we make two stops. The first in San Martin Hidalgo where we see the church and small museum and the second for comida at a rural fonda that serves beans/jocoque, carne con chile, cesina (dry meat), fresh tortillas and other rural Mexican foods. We continue on to Mascota where we check into the lovely Meson de Santa Elena (see courtyard picture attached). The town of Mascota was established in 1592 and the name is derived from the Aztec Nahuatl word “Mazacolta” meaning “Place of Deer and Snakes”. In the afternoon we visit the new archaeological museum, set up by Joseph Mountjoy and sponsored by National Geographic. Mounjoy has been studying the extensive petroglyphs found in the area and the recent uncovering of shards and skeletons by a farmer on one of his fields. Many of these artifacts are on display in the museum including the first faceted gem in the world. Dinner, which is not included in the price of the tour, will be at Casa de la Abuelita.

Day Two: Following a full breakfast at the hotel there will be free time to explore the town. Before leaving for Talpa we visit the Rodríguez Pe?a Museum where one of the salas is devoted to Esther Fernandez, a famous Mexican movie star from Mascota. Raul Rodríguez will be our guide. We arrive in Talpa in time to witness thousands of religious pilgrims from all over Mexico who have come to venerate the statue of the Virgin of Talpa. This Virgin, along with the Virgins of Zapopan and San Juan de los Lagos constitute the three main pilgrimages in Jalisco. We visit the museum that includes items related to the Virgin and miniature figures made out of “chicle” (chewing gum). From there a visit to the shops of three elderly women who make the exquisite “chicle” figures representing people, the Virgin of Talpa, flowers and other items. This is a disappearing craft and will soon be no more. Before leaving for the 300 year old Hacienda Ahuacatepec (exterior picture attached) there will be time to explore and shop. We arrive at the Hacienda in time to settle in and get ready for dinner which will be prepared by the hacienda staff.

[Guests enjoying cuisine at Hacienda Ahuacatepec] Day Three: A light breakfast of fruit and coffee will be served before we have “almuerzo,” the typical Mexican brunch which consists of “chilaquiles” and “huevos rancheros” and their respective sauces, along with “sopitos”. Aferwards we can rest or stroll the hacienda grounds. Later we visit a local cheese factory and upon returning Sra. Cruz, the hacienda cook, will demonstrate how to make “Pollo en Pepian” and the other dishes we have for dinner that evening. Before dinner wine and cheese (from the cheese factory) will be served. Following dinner we can move to the spacious living room for conversation and fun.

Day Four: This morning after breakfast we depart the hacienda for the drive home. On the way we stop at the Lacienda la Sauceda, one of the oldest land grants in Mexico given by the King of Spain. We arrive back in Ajijic at the Plaza around 4:00 PM.

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