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Sunday December 17 2017
Mexico Civility Found in Jerez, Zacatecas
Author:

Doug Bower
guillermobower@yahoo.com


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A fellow writer here in our adopted town of Guanajuato, Guanajuato, Mexico, said to me once that surely a sign of civility of any town, anywhere, has to be in its plethora of parks, the benches within the parks, and how well they do maintenance within the park’s boundaries. I was thinking about this very conversation I had with my writing pal as I sat in El Jardin Principal in the very small Mexican town, Jerez, Zacatecas.

Located fifty-seven kilometers west of the capital city, Zacatecas, you can find this rich agricultural and ranching area nestled in a mega-productive valley sporting a very mild climate making life pleasant for residents or tourists. Indeed, while there, we experienced temperatures about ten degrees warmer than the much higher altitude in the capital city, Zacatecas.

To reach Jerez, Zacatecas, you can take highway 54 heading towards Guadalajara and taking the junction leading to the town of Malpaso. From the city of Guanajuato, our starting place, to Jerez, you can take Primera Plus to Leon for $33 pesos. From Leon to Zacatecas, take the ETN line for $205 pesos. Finally, upon arriving to the Zacatecas bus station, take the second class bus to Jerez, an hour’s journey, for $30 pesos.

Compared to many places we’ve lived and visited in Mexico, Jerez was amazingly clean, easy to navigate on foot or by cab, and preternaturally quiet. We stayed with a friend and slept without the need for the white noise machine we use in Guanajuato where the noise factor by tourists and even would-be expatriates is grotesquely underestimated.

It was in the ultra-quiet Jardin Principal where I was enjoyed the quiet solitude that is so rarely found in Mexican Cities. Jardin Principal is a medium-sized park replete with more white-painted benches per square foot than any other park I have visited in Mexico. They were every few feet or so with the majestic winged lion bench legs and with rose bushes dotting the park’s landscape.

The Castile Roses - full of rose bushes, sculpted shrubbery, and two statuesque busts of Candelario Huizar (musician) and Lopez Velarde (poet) - captured my attention. There were roses colored red, yellow, orange, apricot, white, pink, and black. In addition, the park also sports orange trees bearing large lush fruit, which tempts visitors to partake. The fountains are full of air-clean water and, to my surprise there wasn’t a piece of trash in the water - or anywhere - for that matter. This lack of garbage, or immaculate cleanliness, is hard to find in small towns throughout Mexico.

Founded in the last half of the sixteenth century by Andalusian families, the city’s traditions and construction offer most of a flavor found in the Iberian Peninsula, a fact that must be explored in visiting more than the parks of Jerez. What we did not get to see in our three-day trip to Jerez would fill the pages of another article: The Sanctuary of Solitude, Hinojosa Theater (we did try to see this, only it was closed), Parroquia de la Inmaculada, Rafael Paez Garden, Plaza Tacuba and Hall of the Doves, House Museum of Ramon Lopez Velarde, Panteon de Dolores, and much more.

I would say conservatively you would need at least a week to see what this little town of thirty-eight thousand has to offer. If you make it to Jerez, be sure to take some time to engage in civility, sit in the parks, listen to the sound of the fountains’ rushing waters, and smell some roses.


Where to Stay:

Leo Hotel, 5 Stars, 56 rooms
Tel. 945-2001

Hotel Wendy, 4 Stars, 52 rooms
Tel. 945-2144

Hotel del Santuario, 4 Stars, 9 rooms
Tel. 945-6194

Hotel Santa Cecilia, 4 Stars, 11 rooms
Tel. 945-2412

Office of Tourism
Calle del Espejo No. 16
Tel. 945-5166





 

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