The Guadalajara Reporter’s big news this week is Ajijic becoming one of Mexico’s vaunted Magic Towns, Pueblos Magicos. It was nominated for the honor three years ago, but came up short.
But, with the considerable work being done along the Carretera, Lakeside has taken on a new wonderment, for some — that is, wondering if the added tourism can fit within current infrastructure. Not as simple as moving your pants belt a few notches to the end.
Jalisco Governor Enrique Alfaro has announced that he’s tossing in further development funding and maybe some bicycle horns or bells to alert pedestrians to the additional tourism invasion anticipated from the new designation.
Tourism at Lakeside understandably has become one of its greatest sources of income, possibly equal to the country’s major sites – the plazas of Mexico City, the wonders of antiquities such as Chichen Itzá, the beaches of Puerto Vallarta and of course La Floresta Castle. So the proclamation and promotion of additional Pueblos Magicos are a smart investment. But for Ajijic, the honor would surely mystify the ghosts of Lakeside’s ancient and humble Aztec fishermen, who probably thought, “Wow, what a magical place this is, quiet, serene, untrammeled, with an empty, stupendous roadway for hauling away our lakefish catch.” Yes, Lakeside began as a magic town.
To qualify today for such a title, a city must demonstrate a mix of historical, cultural, aesthetic and unique qualities. And, not surprisingly, Ajijic has all these qualifications – the untrammeled beauty of the lakefront (with the sierras in your back yard); the magnificent and diverse flora and fauna; the vast amounts of local art and artisanship. And don’t forget the concentration of clinics and doctors and cosmetic surgeons, a crop unmatched anywhere in the world.