A week or so ago, my friend Jonnie and her visiting friend Konny [and, no, they are not twin sisters, although with those names they certainly could have been twin sisters from the South] and I, took a trip up to Tequila, Jalisco, Mexico. That’s it in the photo above, which was taken from one of the rare “Scenic View” pull outs in Mexico.
Tequila is, of course, known for being the hub of tequila production in Mexico. There are distilleries all around the town, and lots of tours are offered to visitors. And we DID take one of those tours. But today I’d like to show you a few photos of the pueblo itself, concentrating on the main church.
Tequila is maybe 40 miles northwest of Guadalajara, and Jocotepec, where I live, is located about 30 miles south of Guad, so Tequila is a very easy day trip from here. The hardest and most time-consuming part of going from Joco to Tequila is getting through Guad. However, there is a good “ring road” [called a periferico in these parts] that allows one to escape the worst of Guadalajara’s traffic.
So off the three of us set on a Saturday morning in mid-August. Coincidentally, the same morning that Mexico was playing Brazil for the gold medal in the 2012 Olympics in London. And we would learn the outcome of that game later that day in Tequila.
About about an hour and a half after we left my house in Jocotepec, we arrived in Tequila and found ourselves a parking lot about half a block from the plaza and the main parish church. Now, you should know that I’m sucker for old churches, and this one was a great one from the outside!
It had all the things I love about Mexican churches. Located right on the plaza for easy access? Check.
Great old front doors? Check.
Stone facade? Oh, totally check!
Bell tower? Done.
Columns of some kind? This had Doric, and that’s okay by me!
An angel or archangel somewhere? In this case, the Archangel Michael under the dome:
And as if all these things were not enough, the church in Tequila even has a side chapel dedicated to one of the Catholic church’s heroes of the Cristero war, Father Toribio Romo. The Cristero war was an internal one waged off and on for 10 years or more in Mexico during the late nineteen-teens into the late 1920s. It was a battle between the Catholic church and the Mexican government for control of the hearts and minds of the citizenry. In other words, yet another struggle between Church and State for power.
I’ve written about the war a bit before in my blog about Sahuayo, Michoacan: https://bigskysouthernsky.wordpress.com/2011/07/14/preparing-for-sahuayo-part-2-the-boy-saint/
Father [later Saint] Toribio Romo was gunned down by the Federales in 1928 in the puebla of Tequila, where, ironically, he had been transferred by the Church for his own safety. Today he is considered one of the patron saints of immigrants crossing to or from the United States. I’m guessing that he’s getting a lot less “business” these days.
While the outside of the church in Tequila was pretty much jaw-dropping, the inside….not so much. Oh, it was lovely, with beautiful wooden inlaid floors:
And the requisite statues and representations of the Virgin of Guadalupe:
As well as the imposing altar that all Mexican churches seem to have:
It’s not my favorite in Mexico. But I did enjoy the plaques on the outside of the church, which explained the medicinal virtues of tequila:
as well as the plaque speaking about the fact that the drinking or selling thereof [medicinal virtues be damned] could get a person excommunicated from the church!
Tequila is sold in almost every store that I have been in here around Lake Chapala, but I must admit that we don’t have stores that SPECIALIZE in selling the stuff, like they do here in Tequila. And, yeah, that store is pretty much cheek by jowl with the church!
Another thing that was new to me was the “food court” in Tequila. Most towns, large or small, have a mercado where vendors of such things as fruits, vegetables, and meats sell their goods and where you will find food stands. But this was the first place that I had encountered that was a Mercado de Comidas [market of meals or prepared food market].
It really was like a food court found in shopping centers in the US and Canada, and even here in Mexico in cities like Guadalajara, but on a smaller scale and operated by individual vendors serving homemade food.
And, oh, about that soccer/futbol game? An hour or so after we arrived in Tequila, the church bells began to ring, the cohetes [skyrockets] began to go off, and a parade of proud Mexicans in vehicles were driving around the plaza, horns blaring. It was a good day to be in Mexico!
More later on our visit to one of the tequila distilleries located in Tequila. But, in the meantime, you can listen to this! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCre91Q6qkM&feature=related