While we were there, Cameron booked several tours with Vallarta Adventures. The first took us up into the mountains of the Sierra Madre to the colonial towns of Talpa and Mascota. We had an exceptional tour guide who knew just about everything you could think of about the history, geology, and culture of the area. Each village had its own treasures to explore. These villages can earn a legal designation of being "Magical" villages - which means they are a cultural jewel in Mexico's crown and are protected from too much change. In Mascota, we were given fresh bread from the bakery, and we visited a school where local arts are taught.
The name, Mascota, is not from the Spanish language, where it would be translated as "pet." Rather it is from Teco, "Amaxocotlan Mazacotla," which means "the place of deer and snakes."
After stopping for a snack of traditional tacos, we visited La Iglesia de la Preciosa Sangre (Temple of the Precious Blood). Construction on this church began in the early 1900's but was stopped due to the revolution. It's not as old as most churches I've seen in Spain, but reminded me very much of them. What I found fantastic here was behind the altar! In all my travels through Catholic countries, I've never seen a statue of Christ like this one! Joe reminded me of the alchemical nature of the statue. It reminded him of the pelican you often see in Christian and Alchemical art. The pelican was believed to pierce its own breast with its beak and feed its young of its blood. It became a symbol of Christ sacrificing himself for man.
We explored the grounds of the church. They gave us traditional hot chocolate and cookies, and soon we loaded up onto the bus to head for Talpa.
|Cameron and Michael|
We walked from here to the village center,
where we found a man selling a special chili powder.
He would not disclose the ingredients,
but it was delicious!
We ate it sprinkled on jicama.
I bought a package. The scent was so pungent that my entire suicase
smelled of it when I got home.
There was another church in Mascota, Nuestra Senora de los Dolores.
It sat in a shady square with flowers and trees all around.
|Yet another Sorrowful Mother|