La Paz, BCS - Welcome to The Settlement Company's Third Quarter, 2016 Newsletter. In this edition we highlight attractions near Uruapan, the avocado capital of the world. We are also able to report positive numbers for the Mexico's international tourism industry.
Attractions near Uruapan
In the last edition, I wrote about places to see in Uruapan. Now I will list nearby places to go. With the exception of Morelia, these are a day trip away. Many visitors have come to Uruapan and hired a bi-lingual taxi driver to take in the local sights. Compared to tariffs in Canada and the U.S., fares are lower here.
Vasco de Quiroga (1470-78 - March 14, 1565) was the first bishop of Michoacán, Mexico and one of the judges (oidores) in the second Audiencia that governed New Spain from January 10, 1531 to April 16, 1535. He employed a strategy of gathering together indigenous populations into congregated Hospital-towns called Republicas de Indios, organized after principles derived from Thomas More's Utopia. The purpose of this policy was to make the dispersed indigenous populations easier to control and instruct in Christian values and lifestyles. Because of his reputation as a protector of the Indians, Vasco de Quiroga is venerated as a saint in some communities in Michoacan to this day. As bishop, he transferred the seat of the bishopric from Tzintzuntzán to Pátzcuaro. In Pátzcuaro he founded the cathedral and the Seminary of San Nicolas. He worked to gather the Indians in large towns near Lake Pátzcuaro; in the center of Purépecha territory. Using More's Utopia as a model, the Indians were to be taught religion, crafts and the fundamentals of self-government. Each town was to become the center of an industry. Each person worked six hours a day and contributed on an equal basis to the common welfare. Bishop Quiroga's efforts were very successful, and he was said to be greatly beloved by the members of his flock. He was known as Tata Vasco (Father Vasco).
Paracho de Verduzco (often called merely Paracho) is a small city located in Michoacán, Mexico. It is an easy drive from Uruapan and has a population of about 16,000. It is famous for the production of world class guitars and other musical instruments. The town is full of music shops that sell handmade stringed instruments. Some instruments that can be found in Paracho are: 10-string mandolins, armadillo-backed guitars (concheros) and mandolins, and acoustic bass guitars, as well as regular classical guitars. Many of the stores and workshops allow visitors to watch the guitar-making process directly. A national music festival is held in Paracho once a year, usually the second week of August. Maestros such as John Williams teach master classes during the festival week.
Parícutin (or Volcán de Parícutin, also accented Paricutín) is a dormant scoria-cone volcano located in the Mexican state of Michoacán, near the city of Uruapan. The volcano surged suddenly from the cornfield of a local farmer, in 1943. This eruption presented the first occasion for modern science to document the full life cycle of an eruption of this type. During the 9-year life span of Parícutin, scientists sketched and mapped it, took samples as well as thousands of photographs of this volcano. By 1952, the volcano left a 424 meter high cone and significantly damaged a 233 km2 area with the ejection of stone, ash and lava. Although the area still remains highly active volcanically, Parícutin itself is quiet and has become a tourist attraction, with people climbing the volcano itself and visiting the hardened-lava covered ruins of the San Juan Parangaricutiro Church. Parícutin is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World as assigned by CNN. Small rustic cabins and a restaurant are located along with a look out. Many tourists rent horses and ride to the ruins of the church.
Zirahuen is a pristine lake in the Colonial Highlands of Michoacan, with crystal clear, blue water and surrounded by hills, covered with pine and oak trees. Activities range from staring in awe at the lake, to mountain climbing, swimming, walking, kayaking, hiking, bicycling and horseback riding. The lake has been called "Mexico's Walden Pond." It is a deep "endorheic" lake with a muddy bottom. Surrounded by tall pine trees the pristine lake has cabins for rent on all sides. Among them are Zirahuen Forest Resort with twenty-five cabins and a restaurant. Perched on a hill is Hotel Tarinjandi Resort.
Happy Planet 'Sustainable Well-Being' Index Ranks Mexico 2nd Happiest Country
Source: Mexico News Daily
You won't find many countries happier than Mexico. In fact, there's just one and that's Costa Rica, according to the Happy Planet Index. Mexico has been ranked No. 2 in the world by the index, described by its creator as a measurement of sustainable well-being. It was well-being, along with life expectancy, where Mexico scored high. Data gathered by the research firm Gallup measured how satisfied citizens felt with life overall, on a scale of one to 10, and gave Mexico 7.3 for well-being, 11th out of 140 countries. Life expectancy of 76.4 years put Mexico in 39th place in that category. Read more »
Over 15% Growth in Tourist for Cabo in First Half of 2016
Encouraging figures have been released this week showing over 15% of an increase in tourism in both Los Cabos and La Paz in the first 6 months of 2016. This includes both domestic and foreign tourists. And is reflected in higher hotel occupancy, busier airports and new flight routes. Check out our recent articles over below - we have been covering all this stuff over the last few months. Ironically this good news came in the same week as the tropical storm Javier - which had the potential to wreak havoc on the tourist scene of Cabo. Fortunately, unlike Odile in 2014, Javier did not develop into a hurricane. Cabo's tourism Minister proudly pointed out that - "operations of the tourism sector in the municipalities of La Paz and Los Cabos, did not suffer any effect by the passage of the tropical storm Javier. The rains did not affect the infrastructure of tourist services, or the integrity of tourists." Over 27 000 tourists in Cabo were kept safe and secure throughout the storm. And huge efforts were made to reopen the port, clean up the beaches and get things back to normal as quickly as possible. With a record like that, here's hoping tourism in Cabo grows another 15% in the next 6 months of the year. Right now tourist related activities generate more than 70% of the state GDP and employ over 250 000 people in the middle peninsula. So a 15% growth in tourism translates into massive social and economic benefits for the local community. And this, of course, can only be a good thing for Cabo San Lucas.
New Aeroméxico Flights are Believed to Have Given Visitor Numbers A Boost
Source: Mexico News Daily
Greater numbers of Canadians are traveling to Mexico City, according to data compiled by that city's Tourism Secretariat. During the first six months of the year, the number of Canadian visitors soared 34% over the same period last year, for a total of 71,000. And the figures for all of 2015 were up 17%, to 111,000, over the previous year. Tourism Secretary Miguel Torruco Marqués said Canada is the sixth most important source of tourists for the city after the U.S., Colombia, Spain, Brazil and Argentina. They stay for an average of five nights and spend US $895 each. The surge in Canadian visitors was attributed to Aeroméxico's new flights to Toronto and Vancouver. Torruco Marqués reported on the number of visits while on a tour of Canada and the United States to promote Mexico City's Mis Raíces (My Roots) program, designed to encourage Mexicans who live in the U.S. and Canada to visit the country of their birth. It is targeting an estimated 35.4 million Mexicans in the U.S. and 96,000 in Canada.
John Glaab is Director, International Marketing at The Settlement Company, Mexico's oldest title and escrow company. A Certified International Property Specialist, he is a founding member of AMPI Los Cabos and the new Global Mexico Real Estate Institute. In 2012, John was named the International Real Estate Member of the Year by NAR. For further information, contact John at John.Glaab(at)settlement-co.com.