If you’ve ever wondered why the Lake Chapala region is notorious for a never-ending string of raucous festivities, understand that each town and village not only honors its patron saint during an average period of nine days, but also the diverse spiritual patrons assigned to their neighborhood divisions.
Traditional fiestas de barrio lend inhabitants a sense of pertinence that reaffirms collective identity and strengthens bonds of fellowship. In some cases, the festivities may be limited to a single day or extended over three or more days, following local custom. The principal date of these celebrations usually falls on the feast day of the religious patron as determined by the liturgical calendar of the Roman Catholic church.
As an example, Ajijic was originally divided into five barrios: San Miguel and San Sebastián lying north of the highway, Santo Santiago and San Gaspar within the village proper, separated by the north-south dividing line of Calle Colón-Morelos, and Guadalupe located west of Seis Esquinas, known as Tecoluta before the construction of the neighborhood sanctuary. As the community has grown over the years, the far west Barrio del Sagrado Corazón at La Canacinta and east side Barrio de San José, including La Floresta, have been added to the geographical scheme.