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Rope-making is alive and well in Jalisco pueblo

Lake Cajititlán, located 25 kilometers due south of Guadalajara and just 13 north of San Juan Cosalá, enjoys a fine reputation for its artesanías, or hand-made crafts.

pg7aEach community around the lake has its specialty: pottery made from local clay, molcajetes (mortars) from local basalt rock and baskets woven from reeds growing along the lake shore.

While visiting these artisans, I was told that I must not miss the rope makers of San Miguel Cuyutlán.

“They use the fibers of wild agaves to make specialized ropes for charros (rodeo cowboys),” one local told me. “They’re famous both in Mexico and the United States.”

One day—several years ago—I drove into San Miguel Cuyutlán, situated on the western edge of Lake Cajititlán. When I reached the plaza I thought for sure I would see all sorts of shops selling lariats. But, to my surprise, I didn’t find a single one.

“Don’t you make ropes here?” I asked a lady on the street.

“Of course, lots of people make them,” she replied.

That was how I ended up in the home of an elderly master rope maker named Don Isidro Díaz.

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