While there are multiple sources to explore the history of Chapala, Ajijic, Jocotepec and Mezcala, up until now there has been no specific account on the background of San Antonio Tlayacapan.
Hot off the presses, a new book will finally fill that gap.
Titled “San Antonio Tlayacapan, Recorriendo Su Historia,” the 134-page tome has just been published thanks to the research and writing carried out by Grupo Acalli, a non-profit organization formed by village residents, and the contribution of an anonymous patron who covered the printing costs.
The book will be presented to the public Saturday, June 15, 6 p.m., at the town plaza, tying in with the final days of the community’s annual fiestas patronales.
The text is divided into short chapters touching on different topics concerning the town and its people. Subject matter includes its ancestral origins, historical sites, social order, trades, art and culture, traditional festivities and prominent personalities.
Much of the material derives from interviews with village elders who recounted personal memories and oral history handed down through countless generations. Anthropologist Arturo Moreno Chávez provided critical guidance in putting the contents together over the past 12 months.
Interspersed among the pages are assorted photographs, illustrations and a dozen color reproductions of naïf paintings depicting village life, created over many years by distinguished community leader Victoria Corona Vega.
According to Corona, the main stimulus for putting the town’s history into print was a collective desire to preserve its distinct identity, particularly for young folk and future generations. Concern was raised when the pueblo literally disappeared from the map following the 2010 national census, when documents released by the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI) defined San Antonio as a suburb of Ajijic.
The book will sell for a minimal donation of 150 pesos, with all proceeds set aside for establishing a community museum, another Acalli project that has been under development since 2017. Since then, the group has been negotiating with the municipality to arrange the loan of a small two-room facility located opposite the central plaza to house a collection of historical artifacts held in private local collections.