After a morning in Guadalajara, we left the historic district and made our way to nearby Tlaquepaque. Tlaquepaque used to be a separate town but it has been absorbed into Guadalajara. Tlaquepaque is famous for pottery, blown glass and crafts.

We spent some time checking out the shopping before our late lunch. Well everybody else did, I sat and did some people watching.

Tlaquepaque street

When we were ready for lunch Earl and John had a surprise for us: they took us to El Patio Restaurant in Tlaquepaque. The food was very good, but El Patio’s real draw was the all-female mariachi band with traditional dancers.

The mariachi band had about 8-10 band members spread throughout the dining room. They sang and played a variety of traditional instruments. The songs were beautifully done and the musicians were fun to watch.

Guadalajara is where mariachi music originated in the 1800s and is today known as the home of mariachi music. Women started forming their own mariachi bands in the early 1900s, but the first all-female mariachi band wasn’t formed until 1948.

El Patio mariachi players

This mariachi dance style is called “zapateado” meaning a lively rhythm punctuated by the striking of a dancer’s shoes. El Patio’s dancers were very talented and did a great job. Below are some photos to enjoy.

El Patio mariachi dancers 4

El Patio mariachi dancers 2

El Patio mariachi dancers 1

El Patio mariachi dancers 3

So that wraps up my exciting trip to Mexico. So much fun!

I enjoyed spending the week with my brother John, my new friend Deborah, and our hosts Earl and John.

I also enjoyed Lake Chapala and Guadalajara, and can see myself retiring there. The people and the climate were wonderful. I plan to go back again next year and dig a little deeper into learning the area and the culture to help with my decision.