Also Read: About Patzcuaro’s Lakeside Villages
Puacuaro is about 45 minutes from Patzcuaro in either direction around the lakeside, although it may be a bit closer driving clockwise. There aren’t a lot of signs in Puacuaro and many of the locals speak Purepecha as their dominant language, so you may want to inquire about a guided tour.
Having learned the trade from artisans in the nearby village of Tzintzuntzan, Puacuaro has revitalized tule and chuspata reed-weaving in the Lake Patzcuaro region.
The products they make are completely hand-crafted and the reeds themselves are sourced from Lake Patzcuaro. The tule reeds are round and the chuspata reeds are flat, enabling the weavers to combine these and create a variety of ornaments, figurines and utensils. Almost 50% of Puacuaro’s population work in reed-weaving and almost all of the weavers are women.
The reed-weavers of Puacuaro create a small income from their handicraft by selling their wares to local people and visiting tourists and your purchase makes a direct contribution to the local economy.
Browse: Puacuaro Picture Gallery
Although the dirt roads, wondering cattle, Purepecha women and substance farms provide more than enough photo opportunities for even a well-seasoned traveler, the real magic is hidden inside the local homes.
There you will find women weaving magnificent figurines from tule and chuspata while minding their children, cooking tortillas, cleaning the house and juggling many other tasks at the same time.
If you call ahead and make an appointment (+52 434 345-4069), you can meet husband and wife team Enrique and Eva Ascensio, who will show you some of their work and talk to you about the trade. They do not speak any English, but are very welcoming and patient. Eva and Enrique have personally invented many new stitches and designs and host courses to train local women.
Jaracuaro’s climate is similar to nearby Patzcuaro. The village is quite high up in the mountains (just under 7,200 ft or 2,195 meters) so it can get chilly in the mornings and evenings of the cooler months between October and April; bring warm clothing with you during these months. Most of the time, this region enjoys a warm, and at times wet, spring-like climate.
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