San José de Gracia

40 kilometers away lies another little town which is as remarkable as it is unknown. San José de Gracia – a town of maybe 15,000 – lies in low mountains of the remote northwest corner of the Mexican state of Michoacán.

The town is so far away from anything of consequence that all most people, including most Mexican’s know about it is that it is a town that maybe one drives through to get to the Pueblo Mágico village of Mazamitla.

I only learned two days ago that one of Mexico’s greatest modern historians and author, Luis González y González, was born there. So I journeyed to San José de Gracia yesterday to see if I couldn’t learn a little bit more about the man and hopefully acquire one of his books.

Jacaranda tree, La Plaza, San José de Gracia

I like the bus ride from Jiquilpan southwest up into the cerros (cerro, a small mountain). The elevation change is maybe 500 meters over just a few kilometers but the weather refreshingly cooler.

The church on the Plaza viewed from Los Portales


The home of the late, Luis González


In asking around town, I was able to meet several of Luis González’s kin including the diminutive and charming pixie in the photo below.

Julianna, a great-great niece of Luis González


I finally located someone who had a book they could sell me (the town has no bookstore) and so it was I was invited into Julianna’s home by her grandma. The darling 2 year old tyke followed me around as I was shown around the old adobe hacienda and amused me with her piping voice and insistent questions. She has a big old gray tomcat for a pet whom she properly introduced to me as Tomas.


The interior of the home next door to the González home

I love these old haciendas with their inward facing rooms surrounding an open central courtyard which makes the living space both warmly communal as well as highly adjacent to nature.

Last, a photo of Luis González González’s statue on the plaza.



What a beautiful town filled with wonderful, charming and truly hospitable people. With all of these hidden and delightful gems, Mexico remains a magnificent mystery.



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