It’s harvest time in orchards planted in the countryside just over the hill from Lake Chapala.
Ixtlahuacán de los Membrillos takes its extended name from the quince, a fruit introduced to the region by Franciscan friars as they spread their evangelization missions across Mexico during the Colonial era. Quince orchards likewise abound on the outskirts of Atotonilquillo, a town with a population of about 7,000 inhabitants, and Chapala’s most distant of satellite Delegación.
Atoto, as the town is known among locals, is essentially a rural community populated predominantly by farming families that specialize in cultivating quince orchards and producing artisan products made with the fruit. The town is also home to a factory operated by Huntsman Textiles Effects that employees 500 workers to manufacture fabric colorants for clothing and automotive industries.