Inhabitants of San Antonio Tlayacapan have formed a common front to preserve the town’s identity and historic patrimony.
After banding together just over a year ago, a group of community leaders sat down before a notary on July 3 to constitute Acalli Tlayacapan, a non-profit civil association.
Among the organization’s objectives is the rescue and stewardship of antique artifacts to be housed in a community museum. The municipal government has pledged to provide the museum with a permanent home in a small building located across the street from the central plaza.
Numerous villagers have also committed to donate or loan relics in their possession from the pre-Columbian era, as well as objects of historic value from more recent centuries. Many such items of value have been sold, lost or destroyed through time.
One of the greatest acquisitions to date is a register of accounts kept by religious authorities at the town’s ancient hospital between 1623 and 1626. The 70-page document was purchased at the Guadalajara Baratillo flea market by Janet del Carmen Ochoa Hermosillo, who used it for her thesis in Philosophy at the University of Guadalajara in 2011.
Several months ago Ochoa donated the tattered book to the Acalli group that subsequently turned it over to an expert in Mexico City for restoration. The precious volume, bound in a new cowhide cover, has just been returned to its San Antonio custodians.