At a thanksgiving feast in Loreto 2009, Barbara shared with Jeff and Paul that she loved trees, cooler temps, mountains and lakes. Both of them immediately directed me to explore Lake Chapala. These two world travellers own the finest Bed & Breakfast in Virgina City, Nevada, and a lovely hacienda in Loreto. Visit the Cobb Mansion link found under BEDS and Breakfast. Having taught Spanish as the second language at the University in Puebla for years, Paul and Jeff are very familiar with Lake Chapala. A forested village with a VISTA of mountains and a lake! Intrigue enveloped my soul so online I began and found --that Chapala's history began in 1521 when a monk was sent from Spain by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella to educate the natives. Chief Chapalac was babtized and named "Martin of Chapala," master of the people, owner of the land. In exchange, the Taltica Indian chief destroyed his god, Iztlacateotl. In 1538, Franciscan Fray Miguel Bolonia founded the city of Chapala. He built a hermitage on Chapala's highest hill, Cerro San Miguel, where he lived until his death. He built another hermitage on the island of Mezcala, where native children were given religious instruction. In 1548, a church was built of adobe and grass, and named San Francisco after the order of the padres. A hospital was constructed, adjoining the church. By 1550, Chapala had a population of 825 married persons and 349 children. About this time, a scholar from Spain, studying Indian cultures of the Chapala shores, found that each lakeside community seemed to have its own language. Probably, the lack of transport (the rough dugout fishing canoes were not capable of crossing the lake) had prevented a common language from developing. On September 10, 1864, Chapala became a municipality by decree of the Jalisco State Congress. September 10th is the birthday of a great Cherokee Indian named Willis Earl Alley, born in Little Rock, Arkansas, father of Captain Benito and his adventurous sister Barbara AKA Barbarito. Chapala's population has increased rapidly in the last few years. Today 40,000 people live in Lake Chapala. 500 are Canadians and Gringos. Many expats live in Chapala. My heart, my dream is to dwell in a debt free casa that would be used to teach God's word to locals. Father the time has come, and the time is now come, that You are glorified by the people who accept Your word and drink in Your Spirit. All I have is Yours. Holy Father protect me as I journey to Chapala and investigate what it is that You have for me to do. May God's word florish within me and that my ears stay tuned to the voice of my Shepherd. My prayer is also for all those who will believe in Jesus as a result of hearing what the Holy Spirit has to say to them personally. Righteous Father, though the world does not know You, I pray that Your Word and Your Love draw them to a casa filled with the Light of Truth ~ that their ears will hear what the Spirit has to say to them. AMEN Perhaps as early as 100 BC, nomadic bands of Indians passed through the Lake Chapala Valley. Some moved on, others settled on the shore. Jocotepec, once Xuxutepeque, a small fishing village at the western end of the Lake, became a permanent home for the Nahua Indians in 1361. They built a temple to their god, Iztlacateotl, and practiced human sacrifice. The village became ceremonial site for the surrounding mountain area. Pilgrimage 2009 Loreto. The municipality of Jocotepec has a large variety of trees and plants, mostly located inside garden walls. The main plaza is surrounded by greenery, making it very inviting. Vegetation is composed mainly of jacaranda, galeana, hule, pine, roble, cazuarina, mesquite, guamuchil, chaparrale and encino. Fruit trees such as mango, avocado, lime, lemon and orange are also abundant. In North Jocotepec, acacia, huizache and palo-bobos predominate, while in the south (lake) side, there are a few sauce trees and sabinos. A large farm grows raspberries for export. Fields of corn and chayote are very common in this area. In 1520, Captain Alonzo de Avalos was given this area as an encomienda (land grant). Chief Xitomatl, who then governed the area between Chapala and Jocotepec, submitted his territory to Spanish rule without a battle. In 1529, Jocotepec was formally founded, according to a title of property issued by Hernan Cortes, a copy of which can be found today in Jocotepec records. Franciscan fathers then proceded with conversion of the natives. Old Indian temples were destroyed and Catholic church foundations laid in their ruins. At that time, Jocotepec acquired its two religious protectors - Senor del Monte and Senor del Guaje. WHY NOT stroll to the lake and enjoy the peace and tranquility DAILY! ---"BE STILL" and stand and be captivated by the view and feel the almost physical presense of the energy coming from the Lake. Lake Chapala sits on an old (inactive) volcanic rock basin. It is said that when the indigenous people first arrived, they decided to stay here and called this area, 'The Healing Place' and 'The Energy Point'. Imagine living a life near Lake Chapala. What a blessing to live in a place with so much beauty! In Lake Chapala, people aren't truly away from the reality of the world; it only seems like it. People create a positive reality and are enabled to live a life that honors God and pleases the soul.