Yesterday we arrived in Patzcuaro in the Mexican State of Michoacan! It is a Colonial city with a population of 65,000 and is situated 7,150feet above sea level. This altitude makes for some chilly nights. When we woke up this morning there was frost on the ground but by 10 it was starting to warm up and by noon it was t-shirt weather again.
Patzcuaro was an Aboriginal capital of the Tarasco and other people from 1325. When the Spanish appeared in 1522 they were welcomed by the people of Patzcuaro. In 1529 the Spanish returned, this time lead by Nuno de Guzman, a conquistador of legendary cruelty. His treatment of the local population was so inhumane that the Catholic Church and the Colonial Government felt compelled to step in and dispatched Bishop Vasco de Quiroga from Mexico City to clean up the mess. Quiroga established an education system and encouraged agricultural self-sufficiency, employing village cooperatives based on the ideals of Sir Thomas More’s “Utopia”. The village based craft traditions he initiated survive to this day with each village specializing in some item.
Please be patient with me on my posting frequency here in Patzcuaro. There is no WIFI in or near the RV Park and a visit to three Internet Cafes in the Centro today resulted in no working services. My Spanish is not good enough to determine if this is a city wide problem or the individual cafes. One told me to come back “in an hour”, another “at 4:30” and the third simply said he had no Internet. We have heard of a place in a neighbouring pueblo that we will try tomorrow.