National Geographic : 1967 Mar
Faith unites families at the Church of San Juan de Dios. Strong Christian and Indian traditions meet in the one mil lion Guadalajarans, or tapatios, who make this the second largest city in Mexico, after its capital. Balmy weather, ex quisite churches and public buildings, fine restaurants, and romantic minstrels lure growing legions of tourists. City's cruciform heart, shaped by spacious plazas, centers on the sample some of Mexico's loveliest churches, greatest art collections, and most rewarding restaurants. Tourism has even brought its own ultimate symbol, the new Guadalajara Hilton Hotel. Our room there overlooked the wide valley of Guadalajara (pages 428-9). "It is a very good land, truly populated and well kept, and I believe that if a town should be built in these parts, all would serve well. All that land is mild...." So wrote the far from-mild conquistador Nufio Beltran de Guzman, when he first arrived in 1530. 414 The Spaniards came by way of a "very large lake" and a "town named Chapala." Kelly and I retraced their steps, starting, as recorded his tory did, at the region's foremost geographic feature, Lake Chapala (pages 418 and 430). Search for a Friend From the Past Fed by the Lerma River, Chapala is the largest lake in Mexico, and in its overflow is born the Pacific-bound Santiago River. Com bined, the Lerma and Santiago form one of Mexico's most important river systems.